Pitt-led International Team of Engineers and Neurosurgeons Receives NIH grant Studying At-Risk Cerebral Aneurysms

With cerebral aneurysms affecting a significant portion of the adult population, it appears that the risk of treatment involving open brain surgery can often outweigh the risk associated with rupture.  And with more numbers of unruptured aneurysms being detected using non-invasive techniques through imaging, this introduces the pressing need for a steadfast method to distinguish between those aneurysms that have the potential for impending rupture and those that can be safely monitored.

Therefore, a team of international makeup, led by the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering received a 2.95M NIH grant to investigate and improve the risk assessment and treatment of this serious disease.  The principal investigator of this five-year grant is Anne M. Robertson, William Kepler Whiteford Professor of Engineering at the Swanson School, who explains, “The cells in our blood vessels have a remarkable capacity for rebuilding and maintaining the collagen fibers that give the artery walls their strength. Unfortunately, this natural process can be derailed by the abnormal fluid flow in brain aneurysms, leading to vulnerable walls and rupture.  Understanding the factors that discriminate between robust aneurysm walls with well-organized collagen fibers, and fragile aneurysm walls with diverse changes to the collagen architecture, is essential for improving risk assessment and developing new treatments to prevent rupture.”

The international team includes investigators from Pitt, Allegheny General Hospital (Khaled Aziz, MD, PhD, Department of Neurosurgery)George Mason University in Virginia, University of Illinois at Chicago (Fady Charbel, MD, Professor of Neurosurgery and Chief of Neurovascular Section; and Sepi Amin-Hanjani, MD, Professor of Neurosurgery), and Helsinki University Central Hospital and Kuopio University Hospital (Juhana Frösen, MD, PhD, Department of Neurosurgery) in Finland.

Read more about it here.