CDT Postgraduate Studentship in Healthcare Innovation
((RCUK Digital Economy Programme grant number EP/G036861/1)
Patient-specific prediction of abdominal aortic aneurysm rupture: Translating Models to the Clinic
Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) are localised dilatations of the abdominal aorta. Although most AAAs are asymptomatic, they may rupture, and in that case the outcome is usually catastrophic: the overall risk of death due to rupture is 80% to 90%. Overall, this disease accounts for 1-2% of all deaths in the UK. Up to date, there is no satisfactory methodology to assess whether a detected aneurysm is at risk of rupture and simplistic size correlations are used: currently the decision on whether to intervene is based solely on the diameter of an aneurysm reaching a critical size (5.5cm). This approach fails to identify small aneurysms with high risk of rupture and those larger aneurysms which should be managed conservatively due to the risk of intervention exceeding their risk of rupture. Distinguishing those aneurysms most at risk of rupture will yield significant improvements in patient healthcare and corresponds to a pressing and unmet clinical need. In fact, more sophisticated modelling approaches to predict aneurysm rupture are currently available. There is a need to translate these models into clinical practise. This short project, which links bioengineers, clinicians with industry provides the foundations for realisation of this aim.