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Objective: Accurate prediction of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) growth in an individual can allow personalised stratification of surveillance intervals and better inform the timing for surgery. The authors recently described the novel significant association between flow mediated dilatation (FMD) and future AAA growth. The feasibility of predicting future AAA growth was explored in individual patients using a set of benchmark machine learning techniques. Methods: The Oxford Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Study (OxAAA) prospectively recruited AAA patients undergoing the routine NHS management pathway. In addition to the AAA diameter, FMD was systemically measured in these patients. A benchmark machine learning technique (non-linear Kernel support vector regression) was applied to predict future AAA growth in individual patients, using their baseline FMD and AAA diameter as input variables. Results: Prospective growth data were recorded at 12 months (360 ± 49 days) in 94 patients. Of these, growth data were further recorded at 24 months (718 ± 81 days) in 79 patients. The average growth in AAA diameter was 3.4% at 12 months, and 2.8% per year at 24 months. The algorithm predicted the individual's AAA diameter to within 2 mm error in 85% and 71% of patients at 12 and 24 months. Conclusions: The data highlight the utility of FMD as a biomarker for AAA and the value of machine learning techniques for AAA research in the new era of precision medicine.

Original publication




Journal article


EJVES Short Rep

Publication Date





24 - 28


Abdominal aortic aneurysm, Aneurysm progression, Biomarker, Flow mediated dilatation, Machine learning