Biomarker for aortic disease

Press/Media: Research

Period6 Jun 2021

Media contributions


Media contributions

  • TitleSimple blood test could spot signs of deadly blood vessel disease
    Degree of recognitionInternational
    Media typeWeb
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    DescriptionResearchers at Dundee and Edinburgh universities found that testing for a molecule “desmosine” may speed up diagnosis of acute aortic syndrome (AAS), which affects around 3,000 people in the UK every year.

    The disease requires immediate treatment to prevent the aorta – the body’s largest blood vessel – from rupturing. Symptoms such as chest pain are not distinctive – making the condition difficult to diagnose.

    Maaz Syed, a clinical research fellow in cardiovascular sciences at Edinburgh, said: “We urgently need a new, faster way to diagnose this catastrophic disease so that we can get patients the swift, life-saving treatment that they need. We need to confirm these results in bigger trials, but we hope that we have a potential biomarker that may help us detect a dangerous disease.”

    The Heart Journal study, titled Plasma desmosine as a biomarker in acute aortic syndrome, was funded by the British Heart Foundation and will be presented at the British Cardiovascular Society conference today (Mon). Researchers compared blood concentrations of desmosine in 53 patients known to have AAS and 106 people without the disease, and found that AAS patients had almost double the concentration of desmosine in their blood.”

    Dundee senior lecturer Anna-Maria Choy added: “Time is absolutely vital when the aorta develops a tear and so anything that enables clinicians to make a rapid diagnosis and begin treatment right away will undoubtedly save lives.

    “Desmosine is almost the holy grail in this regard because until now we do not have reliable blood tests for aortic tears.”
    PersonsAnna-Maria Choy