Study Links Increased Risk of Aortic Disease with Antibiotics Called Fluoroquinolone


A new study by a team of Danish and Swedish researchers and led from Karolinska Institutet offered additional assistance in understanding of the connection between an increased risk of acute aortic disease and treatment with fluoroquinolone antibiotics.

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are utilized across the globe so as to treat a wide range of infections. Latest observational studies have come up with concerns that they might be linked with many manifolds increase in the risk of life-threatening and acute aortic disease such as aortic dissection or aortic aneurysm. However, owing to the limitations in the design of the study, drawing clear conclusions has not been possible.

Fluoroquinolones Induces Increased Activity of Aortic Causing Enzyme

So as to make an assessment of whether there is actually a link or not, researchers from Statens Serum Institut in Denmark and Lund University and Karolinska Institutet in Sweden made an analysis of the data from the national health registers of Sweden. The researchers could make a comparison of the risk of aortic dissection or aneurysm amongst around 360,000 treatment episodes of fluoroquinolones with the risk amongst the same number of treatment episodes of another type of antibiotic called amoxicillin.

The results displayed a total of 66 per cent surge in the risk of aortic dissection or aneurysm in patients who have been treated with fluoroquinolone antibiotics. This could be correlated with an absolute difference of around 82 cases every 1 million treatment courses that involved fluoroquinolone antibiotics.

Associate professor at Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Solna, Björn Pasternak said that the findings from the previous studies have been confirmed with this research but it also makes a suggestion that the increased risk is not as pronounced as indicated by those previous studies.The said researchers also underline a possible mechanism that could give an explanation for the association.

Björn Pasternak explained that one of the many factors that are related to the development of aortic disease is the augmented activity of tissue-degrading enzymes which is called matrix metalloproteinases and the said antibiotic fluoroquinolones cause the activity of these enzymes

The research has been published in the BMJ, a highly esteemed journal.

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