ABDOMINAL AORTIC ANEURYSMS
Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) are caused by degradation of load bearing components of the vessel wall matrix. Rupture of abdominal aortic aneurysms is the cause the death in 1‐2 % of individuals over 60 years of age. The risk of rupture is related to aneurysm size. The group in collaboration with Per Eriksson's group at the atherosclerosis research unit studies mechanisms contributing to AAA growth with emphasis on proteolytic activity originating in the intraluminal thrombus and cellular sources and mechanisms of proteolytic activity. Gender differences for AAA are also studied by these means in addition to epidemiological methods. In collaboration with the department of solid mechanics at the Royal Institute of Technology imaging methods to predict rupture of AAA based on finite element methods are developed. The research will define mechanism that can be influenced pharmacologically in order to prevent AAA growth and thereby also rupture. Imaging will identify aneurysms that are at risk for rupture. The research will be particularly important when screening for AAA is introduced, which already has occurred in the US, UK and Sweden.