Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) is associated with inflammatory cell infiltrate and enzymatic degradation of the vessel wall. Current diagnostic modalities stratify risk of AAA rupture based solely on the size of the aneurysm without factoring potentially useful information derivable from the degree of aneurysmal wall molecular response. However, recent developments in imaging technology offer some enticing prospects, including molecular imaging of aneurysmal disease, grouping individuals by the probability that they will develop symptoms or progression, assessing the results of treatment and improving the current understanding of the biology of AAA.
Research in our lab is centered on the use of noninvasive imaging methods for in vivo structural and molecular assessment of AAA using angiotensin II-induced model of AAA in hyperlipidemic mice in effort to provide further insights on the pathobiology of AAA and the effects of intervention while eliminating the need to sacrifice and assay animals at individual time points.
Atherosclerosis is a prime predisposing factor for AAA and other cardiovascular diseases. Consequently, another objective of our research laboratory is to employ multimodiality in vivo imaging methods to delineate the anatomic, cellular, and molecular characteristics of atherosclerosis as the basis for evaluation of interventions and disease progression or risk of complications.
· Uchechukwu K.A. Sampson, Sergio Fazio, John W. Patton, Anne-Sophie Sillesen, Amanda K. Wake, Andre L. Churchwell, Alfred S. Callahan. The Potential Role of Carotid Artery Intima-Media Thickness (CIMT) Accretion Rate in Evaluating Risk of Early Atherogenesis. J Am. Coll. Cardiol 2010;55 (10, Supplement A), A142: 1054-340