Sex Dependent Hemodynamics of the Abdominal Aorta

In light of the observation that men and women develop cardiovascular disease at different times in their lives and experience different disease prognoses, we want to understand the underlying mechanism.  In particular we wanted to study the differences in the abdominal aorta because men are significantly more likely to experience disease in the form of abdominal aortic aneurysm at this site than are women. We have hypothesized that a difference in hemodynamics between men and women in this region precede the observed difference in disease development and outcome. We also have hypothesized that this difference in hemodynamics is due to differences in geometry of the abdominal aorta and peripheral vessels, the resistance of the peripheral vascular system, and the compliance of the aortic wall.  To study these different vascular properties, we are utilizing multiple MRI methods including phase contrast imaging to measure the hemodynamics in both the abdominal aorta and peripheral vascular system, non-contrast high resolution angiography to study geometry, and DENSE imaging to evaluate aortic wall movement. The end goal of the project is to understand how each of these properties independently affect the hemodynamics in this region.

Figure 1

Funding Agency: American Heart Association

Grant Type: PreDoctoral Fellowship

Funding Period: 07/2013-07/2015