Prediction of asymptomatic abdominal aortic aneurysm expansion by means of rate of variation of C-reactive protein plasma levels.
ABSTRACT C-reactive protein (CRP) is an independent risk factor for arteriosclerosis, but its role in abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) expansion remains not completely verified. There are no data about the prognostic significance of rates of variation of the CRP levels in asymptomatic AAAs. This study investigated the association between plasma CRP levels and AAA diameter and assessed the relationship between the gradient of CRP levels and rates of expansion in asymptomatic AAAs.
Plasma levels of high-sensitive CRP (hs-CRP) were measured using a high-sensitivity technique and AAA size was determined by computed tomography in 435 patients with asymptomatic AAAs followed up in our outpatient department.
The median hs-CRP level was 4.23 mg/L. The aorta diameter increased in the four groups of patients determined according to hs-CRP quartiles (35 ± 2, 40 ± 3, 49 ± 4, and 58 ± 5 mm; P = .01). The median rate of CRP level variation per year was 1.4 mg/L. Patients with an elevation >1.4 mg/L had an expansion rate of 4.8 mm vs 3.9 mm in those <1.4 mg/L (P < .01). The multivariate age-adjusted logistic model confirmed initial diameter and variation of CRP level were the only factors associated with expansion, with odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) of 6.3 (3.1-7.5) and 3.4 (2.1-5.6).
These results confirm a statistical association between AAA diameter and hs-CRP plasma levels. This cohort study corroborates this potential causal association and contributes information about the value of the hs-CRP plasma level gradient as a marker of disease progression and rate of expansion.