New thesis on geometric, biomechanical and molecular analyses of abdominal aortic aneurysms
Moritz Lindquist Liljeqvist from the research group Vascular Surgery, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, will defend his thesis "Geometric, biomechanical and molecular analyses of abdominal aortic aneurysms" on September 11, 2020. Main Supervisor is Joy Roy.
What's the main focus of your thesis?
This thesis concerns abdominal aortic aneurysm, an asymptomatic and often locally progressive dilatation of the abdominal aorta which can lead to rupture, a condition with high mortality. The only treatment to prevent rupture is aortic surgery, which itself is a high-risk procedure. Our objective was to develop new methods to individualize and improve the precision of the management of patients with abdominal aortic aneurysm. We performed geometric and biomechanical analyses based on digital 3D models of the aneurysms and employed machine learning strategies. Further, a potential biomarker (‘E-XDP’) was evaluated and the coding transcriptomes of the aneurysm tunicae media and adventitia were mapped.
Which are the most important results?
We could show that known clinical risk factors for rupture were associated with biomechanical vessel wall stress and that using geometric-biomechanical analyses increased the precision of outcome prediction. Measuring levels of E-XDP in peripheral blood could reveal the presence and size of an aneurysm. The study of the aneurysm media and adventitia transcriptomes, and of how they changed with smoking and rate of progression, resulted in novel pathophysiological insights.
How can this new knowledge contribute to the improvement of people’s health?
Our conclusion is that the management of patients with abdominal aortic aneurysm can be improved by geometric, biomechanical and molecular analyses. The map of the abdominal aortic aneurysm transcriptome we produced is already being used in collaborative projects, and we will make the data publicly available in order to support the international research community in future projects.
What are your future ambitions?
I want to combine clinical practice with research in order to find medical applications for groundbreaking methods from different scientific disciplines. This approach would be aimed at increasing accessibility and precision of future treatment strategies.