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Abstract #1021

Assessment of abdominal aortic aneurysm progression using a novel tropoelastin-specific MR contrast agent

Alkystis Phinikaridou1, Sara Lacerda1, Begoña L Plaza1, Marcelo Andia2, Silvia G Lorrio1, and René M Botnar1

1Biomedical Engineering, King's College London, London, United Kingdom, 2Radiology, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile

The extracellular matrix proteins, elastin and collagen, are the most important structural components of the vessel wall that provide tensile strength and stability. During abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) formation there is both, progressive degradation and synthesis of new elastin fibers that disrupts the structural integrity of the vessel wall until it becomes unable to accommodate the high intraluminal hemodynamic forces [1-4]. AAA formation is characterized by dilation of the lumen area and thinning of the vessel wall. Possible rupture of the AAA may have fatal consequences. Rupture of aortic aneurysms is the third most common cause of sudden death after myocardial infarction and stroke. We have developed a tropoelastin-binding MR contrast agent (TESMA) and sought to investigate if it can be used as a novel biomarker to assess AAA development and the risk of rupture, beyond aneurysmal diameter.

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