BACKGROUND: Biomarkers that reflect progression of dilatation of the aorta in patients with aortic conditions are needed as surrogate tools to assist in monitoring the condition in a non-invasive manner in combination with imaging procedures. This study aimed to investigate whether biomarkers are associated with aortic dimensions in patients enrolled in the Genetically-Triggered Thoracic Aortic Conditions (GenTAC) registry.
METHODS: Plasma samples of 159 patients enrolled in the GenTAC registry were assessed for circulating biomarkers [interleukin-6 (IL-6), matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1), tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2 (TIMP-2) and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGFβ1)]. Association of circulating biomarker levels with aortic dimensions was investigated.
RESULTS: IL-6 showed significant positive correlations with aortic dimensions at each segment of the aorta, with the correlation increasing in more distal aortic regions (ascending aorta, R = 0.26, p = 0.004; proximal arch, R = 0.35, p<0.0001; transverse arch, R = 0.30, p = 0.0005; mid-descending thoracic aorta, R = 0.40, p<0.0001; thoracoabdominal aorta, R = 0.38, p<0.0001; suprarenal abdominal aorta, R = 0.42, p<0.0001; and infrarenal aorta, R = 0.43, p<0.0001). TIMP-1 showed a significant correlation albeit weaker than IL-6, and also showed increasing correlation towards the distal areas of the aorta.
CONCLUSIONS: Circulating IL-6 and TIMP-1 were associated with aortic dimensions in patients with aortopathies enrolled in the GenTAC cohort.