Investigating the Link between Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency and Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms

L. Pini, M. Peroni, C. Zanotti, A. Pini, E. Bossoni, J. Giordani, E. Bargagli, E. Perger, I. Ferrarotti, E. Vizzardi, L. Tiberio, S. Bonardelli, C. Tantucci

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Background: Alpha-1-Antitrypsin (AAT) is one of the major plasmatic protease inhibitors. In the last decade, an association between Alpha-1-Antitrypsin Deficiency (AATD) and Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAA) has been hypothesized. Multiple factors may be involved in AAA's etiopathogenesis, and an underlying structural defect of the extracellular matrix (ECM) is always present. AATD could be a reasonable risk factor for AAA because it is related to protease/antiprotease imbalance and enhanced ECM degradation of the vessel wall. Methods: We performed genotyping of 138 patients hospitalized in the Vascular Surgery Division of the ASST-Spedali Civili di Brescia, Italy, for nontraumatic rupture of AAA. The second purpose was to observe the distribution of main nongenetic risk factors for AAA between patients with and without AATD. Results: Out of 138 patients, 22 were found with AATD: 16 MS, 1 SS, 3 MZ, and 2 with a new rare AAT variant. When compared to the general Italian population, our cohort's frequency of deficient S allele was significantly higher (7.8 vs. 2.2% respectively, P < 0.01), whereas the deficient Z allele was similar (1.1 vs. 1.3% respectively, P > 0.05). Although we found no differences in age, gender, hypertension, diabetes, and smoke habits between AAA patients with and without AATD, hyperlipidemia was significantly less frequent in patients with AATD (46.4 vs. 12.5% respectively, P < 0.05). Conclusions: In our AAA patients’ cohort, the S allele frequency was higher than in the general Italian population. Our results support the hypothesis that AATD might be a risk factor for AAA.

Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)195-201
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Vascular Surgery
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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