Clot Architecture Is Altered in Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms and Correlates With Aneurysm Size
Objective—Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is characterized by widening of the aorta. Once the aneurysm exceeds 5.5 cm, there is a 10% risk of death due to rupture. AAA is also associated with mortality due to other cardiovascular disease. Our aim was to investigate clot structure in AAA and its relationship to aneurysm size.
Methods and Results—Plasma was obtained from 49 controls, 40 patients with small AAA, and 42 patients with large AAA. Clot formation was studied by turbidity, fibrin pore structure by permeation, and time to half lysis by turbidity with tissue plasminogen activator. Plasma clot pore size showed a stepwise reduction from controls to small to large AAA. Lag phase for plasma clot formation and time to half lysis were prolonged, with smaller AAA samples showing intermediate response. Clot structure was normal in clots made with fibrinogen purified from patients compared with controls, suggesting a role for other plasma factors. Endogenous thrombin potential and turbidity using tissue factor indicated that the effects were independent of changes in thrombin generation.
Conclusion—Patients with AAA form denser, smaller pored plasma clots that are more resistant to fibrinolysis, and these characteristics correlate with aneurysm size. Clot structure may play a role in AAA development and concomitant cardiovascular disease.
- Received June 2, 2010.
- Accepted August 18, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.