Mechanism and biomarkers in aortitis––a review

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© 2019, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature. Abstract: Aortitis can be the manifestation of an underlying infectious or noninfectious disease process. An autoimmune cause is suggested in a large proportion of noninfectious causes. Similar to other autoimmune diseases, the pathophysiology of aortitis has been investigated in detail, but the etiology remains unknown. Most cases of aortitis often go undetected for a long time and are often identified at late stages of the disease. Recent advances in imaging techniques have significantly improved the diagnosis of aortitis. However, significant challenges associated with the imaging techniques limit their use. Several routine inflammation-based markers, such as erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein (CRP), and inflammatory cytokines, are nonspecific and, therefore, have limited use in the diagnosis of aortitis. The search for more specific serum biomarkers, which can facilitate detection and progression is under progress. Several autoantibodies have been identified, but assigning their role in the pathogenesis as well as their specificity remains a challenge. The current review addresses some of these issues in detail. Key messages: • Noninfectious aortitis is an autoimmune disease. • Several biomarkers, including cytokines and autoantibodies, are increased in aortitis. • Imaging techniques, commonly used to detect aortitis, are associated with the high cost and technical challenges. • There is a need to develop low-cost biomarker-based detection tools. • The knowledge of biomarkers in aortitis detection is discussed.