Influence of preoperative statins and aspirin administration on biological and magnetic resonance imaging properties in patients with abdominal aortic aneurysm

Vasa. 2021 Feb;50(2):116-124. doi: 10.1024/0301-1526/a000895. Epub 2020 Jul 16.


Background: Main objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of statins and/or acetylsalicylic acid on biochemical characteristics of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) wall and intraluminal thrombus (ILT). Patients and methods: Fifty patients with asymptomatic infrarenal AAA were analyzed using magnetic resonance imaging on T1w sequence. Relative ILT signal intensity (SI) was determined as a ratio between ILT and psoas muscle SI. Samples containing the full ILT thickness and aneurysm wall were harvested from the anterior surface at the level of the maximal diameter. The concentration of enzymes such as matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) 9, MMP2 and neutrophil elastase (NE/ELA) were analyzed in ILT and AAA wall; while collagen type III, elastin and proteoglycan 4 were analyzed in harvested AAA wall. Oxidative stress in the AAA wall was assessed by catalase and malondialdehyde activity in tissue samples. Results: Relative ILT signal intensity (1.09 ± 0.41 vs 0.89 ± 0.21, p = 0.013) were higher in non-statin than in statin group. Patients who were taking aspirin had lower relative ILT area (0.89 ± 0.19 vs 1.13. ± 0.44, p = 0.016), and lower relative ILT signal intensity (0.85 [0.73-1.07] vs 1.01 [0.84-1.19], p = 0.021) compared to non-aspirin group. There were higher concentrations of elastin in AAA wall among patients taking both of aspirin and statins (1.21 [0.77-3.02] vs 0.78 (0.49-1.05) ng/ml, p = 0.044) than in patients who did not take both of these drugs. Conclusions: Relative ILT SI was lower in patients taking statin and aspirin. Combination of antiplatelet therapy and statins was associated with higher elastin concentrations in AAA wall.

Keywords: Abdominal aortic aneurysm; aspirin; intraluminal thrombus; magnetic resonance imaging; statins.

MeSH terms

  • Aorta, Abdominal / diagnostic imaging
  • Aorta, Abdominal / surgery
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal* / diagnostic imaging
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal* / drug therapy
  • Aspirin / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors* / therapeutic use
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Thrombosis*


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Aspirin