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Computerised tomography (CT) scan of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. [LEFT panel: two dimensional image of a abdomen cross section; RIGHT panel: three dimensional reconstruction of the image. The AAA is indicated by the yellow arrows] The blue arrow in the left panel shows the normal sized aorta. The images are taken from an OxAAA participant
Computerised tomography (CT) scan of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. [LEFT panel: two dimensional image of a abdomen cross section; RIGHT panel: three dimensional reconstruction of the image. The AAA is indicated by the yellow arrows] The blue arrow in the left panel shows the normal sized aorta.

Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a common pathology which can result in rupture and high related mortality. It remains a important cause of death in developed countries. The pathophysiologic mechanisms governing AAA progression in humans is not fully understood. Currently, aneurysm size remains the best criteria for recommending surgery in large AAAs (>5.5cm). This has clear shortcomings, as aneurysm size is not an absolute predictor of aneurysm expansion and risk of rupture.  There is a clear need to identify better substrates for risk stratification.

Systemic inflammation and associated abnormality of other vascular territories have been observed in AAA patients. Indeed it is increasingly recognised that vascular dysfunction is not limited to the AAA segment, but also present in the vessels elsewhere in the body. As the AAA progresses, it may lead to  changes of proteins or metabolites found in blood circulation. These changes can now be studied in detail using a range of modern laboratory techniques.

The OxAAA study aims to improve our understanding of the underlying patho-physiology of aneurysm progression in humans by combining the information from comprehensive plasma molecular profiling and assessment of vascular tree by functional imaging. This will lead to identification of novel biomarkers of AAA progression and new risk stratification strategies for patients with AAAs. 

Want to be part of OxAAA?

The success of OxAAA study relies on the active involvement of patient volunteers. Healthy volunteers are also important to us. Please contact the OxAAA team to find out more if you are interested to take part.

Research opportunities

Interested to be part of the OxAAA research team? We have a range of research activities that are suited for people looking for either brief or long term research experience. Enquiries are welcome.

Related research themes