Genetic risk factor for abdominal aortic aneurysm: HLA-DR2(15), A Japanese study

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Autoimmunity has been proposed to play a role in the pathogenesis of the abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). Several autoimmune diseases are associated with specific HLA DR alleles. These experiments were carried out to determine whether the same HLA DR types that have been reported to be associated with AAA in a mixed North American population are similarly associated with AAA in a more homogeneous group of patients in Japan.


HLA DR typing was performed by a serologic method on samples of peripheral blood of patients with nonspecific infrarenal AAA in Nagasaki University Hospital in Japan. The frequencies of HLA DR antigens were compared with those of volunteers approximately matched for age and sex from the same referral area.


HLA DR haplotypes were determined in 46 Japanese patients with AAA and in 50 patients in a control group. The HLA-DR2(15) antigen was observed in 27 (58.7%) patients (29 alleles 31.5%) with AAA and in 14 (28%) subjects (16 alleles 26.0%) in the control group (p < 0.005).


The data suggest that HLA-DR2(15) has an important role as a genetic risk factor for AAA in Japanese patients, as previously reported in a mixed North American population.

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