High Density of Periaortic Adipose Tissue in Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Marina Dias-Neto, Jorn P. Meekel, Theodorus G. van Schaik, Jacqueline Hoozemans, F. bio Sousa-Nunes, Tiago Henriques-Coelho, Rutger J. Lely, Willem Wisselink, Jan D. Blankensteijn, Kak K. Yeung

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Objectives: Perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT) is currently seen as a paracrine organ that produces vasoactive substances, including inflammatory agents, which may have an impact on the vasculature. In this study PVAT density was quantified in patients with an aortic aneurysm and compared with those with a non-dilated aorta. Since chronic inflammation, as the pathway to medial thinning, is a hallmark of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs), it was hypothesised that PVAT density is higher in AAA patients. Methods: In this multicentre retrospective case control study, three groups of patients were included: non-treated asymptomatic AAA (n = 140), aortoiliac occlusive disease (AIOD) (n = 104), and individuals without aortic pathology (n = 97). A Hounsfield units based analysis was performed by computed tomography (CT). As a proxy for PVAT, the density of adipose tissue 10 mm circumferential to the infrarenal aorta was analysed in each consecutive CT slice. Intra-individual PVAT differences were reported as the difference in PVAT density between the region of the maximum AAA diameter (or the mid-aortic region in patients with AIOD or controls) and the two uppermost slices of infrarenal non-dilated aorta just below the renal arteries. Furthermore, subcutaneous (SAT) and visceral (VAT) adipose tissue measurements were performed. Linear models were fitted to assess the association between the study groups, different adipose tissue compartments, and between adipose tissue compartments and aortic dimensions. Results: AAA patients presented higher intra-individual PVAT differences, with higher PVAT density around the aneurysm sac than the healthy neck. This association persisted after adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors and diseases and other fat compartments (β = 13.175, SE 4.732, p =.006). Furthermore, intra-individual PVAT differences presented the highest correlation with aortic volume that persisted after adjustment for other fat compartments, body mass index, sex, and age (β = 0.566, 0.200, p =.005). Conclusion: The results suggest a relation between the deposition of PVAT and AAA pathophysiology. Further research should explore the exact underlying processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)663-671
JournalEuropean Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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