Prognostic value of D-dimer and markers of coagulation for stratification of abdominal aortic aneurysm growth

Alexandra C. Sundermann, Keith Saum, Kelsey A. Conrad, Hannah M. Russell, Todd L. Edwards, Kevin Mani, Martin Björck, Anders Wanhainen and A. Phillip Owens III

Key Points

  • Relative increases in TAT and D-dimer are associated with fast-growing AAAs.

  • Plasma levels of TAT and D-dimer may serve as predictive biomarkers in AAA progression.


Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is associated with high morbidity and mortality and is an established cause of unbalanced hemostasis. A number of hemostatic biomarkers have been associated with AAA; however, the utility of hemostatic biomarkers in AAA diagnosis and prognosis is unclear. The aim of the present study was to characterize the potential prognostic value of D-dimer and markers of altered hemostasis in a large cohort of patients with AAAs characterized by either fast or slow aneurysm growth (frequency matched for baseline diameter) and subaneurysmal dilations. We measured plasma concentrations of thrombin-antithrombin (TAT) complex, platelet factor 4 (PF4), and D-dimer in 352 patients with either fast-growing AAAs (>2 mm/y), slow-growing AAAs (<2 mm/y), subaneurysmal aortic dilations, or nonaneurysmal aortas. Plasma D-dimer and TAT were significantly elevated in both AAA and subaneurysmal dilation patients compared with controls. Individuals with D-dimer levels ≥500 ng/mL had 3.09 times the odds of subaneurysms, 6.23 times the odds of slow-growing AAAs, and 7.19 times the odds of fast-growing AAAs than individuals with D-dimer level <500 ng/mL. However, no differences in D-dimer concentration were noted between fast- and slow-growing aneurysms. Plasma D-dimer and TAT were strong independent predictors of AAA growth rate with multivariate analysis revealing a 500-ng/mL increase in D-dimer or 1-µg/mL increase in TAT led to additional 0.21-mm and 0.24-mm changes in aortic diameter per year, respectively. Rising levels of plasma TAT, in addition to D-dimer, may predict disease progression and aneurysm growth in patients with AAA or subaneurysmal dilation.

  • Submitted October 16, 2017.
  • Accepted October 10, 2018.
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