Doxycycline ineffective at shrinking aortic aneurysms in two-year study

May 27, 2020

Patients with a vascular condition called abdominal aortic aneurysm did not benefit from taking the common antibiotic doxycycline for two years to shrink the aneurysm when compared to those who took a placebo, according to a Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Abdominal aortic aneurysm is a swelling or ballooning that occurs in the major blood vessel (aorta) that supplies blood from the heart to the lower half of the body. It affects about 3 percent of older Americans, most commonly men and smokers.

The condition can cause fatal internal bleeding if the aneurysm grows large enough to burst. Small aneurysms frequently cause no symptoms and are often detected when an abdominal ultrasound or CT scan is performed for other reasons.

Doctors had traditionally monitored the aneurysm growth and sometimes opt to prescribe doxycycline in an effort to forestall surgery in higher-risk patients, a practice that was based on earlier research suggesting that certain antibiotics reduce inflammation that contributes to aneurysm growth.

The study findings released today could lead doctors to stop prescribing doxycycline as a way to prevent small aneurysms from growing larger and bursting, said John Curci, MD, associate professor of Surgery in the Division of Vascular Surgery at VUMC.

"Taking doxycycline to prevent or slow the growth of small abdominal aortic aneurysms is not advised or helpful, even though it reduced circulating markers of inflammation," said Curci, whose study expertise was bio-banking and bio-specimen analysis with Vanderbilt serving as the Biomarker Core Lab.

The large multicenter NIH/NIA study included 254 patients with small aneurysms who were randomly assigned to take either 100 milligrams of doxycycline twice daily or a placebo for two years.

CT scans performed at the beginning of the study and on follow-up found no differences in aneurysm growth between those who took the drug and those who took the placebo.

"This trial will provide critical material for improved biologic understanding of aneurysm disease," Curci said. "For example, detailed study of the circulating proteins or other markers in blood from these patients might help us better understand why aneurysms grow, and allow us to look for more effective drugs."
The study included 22 clinical sites led by principal investigators from VUMC, University of Maryland School of Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center and University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Related Inflammation Articles from Brightsurf:

3D printed stents that treat inflammation
POSTECH Professor Dong-Woo Cho's research team develops bioink-loaded esophageal stents for treating radiation esophagitis.

New cause of inflammation in people with HIV identified
A new study led by researchers at Boston Medical Center examined what factors could be contributing to this inflammation, and they identified the inability to control HIV RNA production from existing HIV DNA as a potential key driver of inflammation.

Maltreatment tied to higher inflammation in girls
New research by a University of Georgia scientist reveals that girls who are maltreated show higher levels of inflammation at an early age than boys who are maltreated or children who have not experienced abuse.

A protein that controls inflammation
A study by the research team of Prof. Geert van Loo (VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research) has unraveled a critical molecular mechanism behind autoimmune and inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, and psoriasis.

Inflammation in the brain linked to several forms of dementia
Inflammation in the brain may be more widely implicated in dementias than was previously thought, suggests new research from the University of Cambridge.

Social isolation could cause physical inflammation
Social isolation could be associated with increased inflammation in the body new research from the University of Surrey and Brunel University London has found.

Hydrogels control inflammation to help healing
Researchers test a sampling of synthetic, biocompatible hydrogels to see how tuning them influences the body's inflammatory response.

Why beta-blockers cause skin inflammation
Beta-blockers are often used to treat high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases.

The 'inflammation' of opioid use
New research correlates inflammation in the brain and gut to negative emotional state during opioid withdrawal.

Using a common anticonvulsant to counteract inflammation
The interaction between a chromosomal protein called HMGB1 and a cellular receptor called RAGE is known to trigger inflammation.

Read More: Inflammation News and Inflammation Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to