Insights into the Development of an Aortic Disease Model

Date / Time

January 30, 2019 - January 30, 2019

3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Seminar given by Evan Phillips, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences

University of Illinois at Chicago

Chicago, IL

Abstract: An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a localized expansion of the aorta. This disease can sometimes be caused by aortic dissections where the vessel wall layers separate, creating a false channel for blood flow. AAAs are life-threatening because weakening of the vessel wall can lead to aortic rupture and bleeding. Unfortunately, most AAAs are associated with no signs or symptoms and early diagnosis is often not possible. Currently, we have an incomplete understanding of disease progression because aortic tissue is only explanted at a late stage. Dr. Phillips will present his PhD research characterizing the development of an established mouse model of dissecting AAAs and integrating in vivo ultrasound with ex vivo molecular analysis. Complex blood flow and vessel wall thrombus develop early and abruptly, likely influencing vascular growth and remodeling. Early molecular and microstructural differences in diseased animals include focal dissection formation and MMP and pro-inflammatory gene expression. Ultrasound measurements of vessel strain and volume could help improve prediction capabilities by identifying patients who are at greater risk for expansion and rupture. Identified molecular markers are potential targets that warrant further evaluation. Ultimately, this research encourages accurate early diagnosis and treatment of human aortic disease.

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