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Vascular Research (Professor Charles McCollum)


I am pleased to report an increase in research activity during the course of this last twelve months. At last we have achieved an NIHR HTA grant in our project to develop an algorithm to determine the precise indication for abdominal aortic aneurism (AAA) repair for each individual patient. In collaboration with Professor Simon Thompson at Cambridge, this application was short listed in January 2010 with the full applications submitted in June 2010. The final grant ( a little over 210k) was awarded in early October. This will fund half of Stuart Grantís salary, one of our Research Fellows, a Research Nurse and two Research Assistants to complete the relevant data on outcomes following AAA repair in the Vascular Governance North West Programme (VGNW). This data will be used to complete an algorithm ( a pilot algorithm already published in the British Journal of Surgery) to determine mortality risk associated with both open and EVAR repair of AAA. This data, when combined with the algorithms being developed in Cambridge on risk of rupture will allow us to determine when AAA repair (by EVAR or open surgery) optimises life expectancy.

As Director of the Greater Manchester AAA screening programme, CNM is well placed to develop a research programme on AAA growth in patients with asymptomatic AAA undergoing surveillance. We have just completed a research project on how to measure AAA by duplex ultrasound highlighting improved accuracy using inner to inner AAA wall measurements.

We have also achieved funding success with the Comprehensive Local Research Network and the Stroke Research Network paying the salary of two Research Nurses in the Vascular Studies Unit. Including support from the Alzheimerís Society, the Comprehensive Research Network, Archemix, and the AGA Corporation the grants awarded to the Vascular Studies Unit during 2010 totalled £536,000.

For the future Rockesh Gurtu, (funded by MSRT) has completed a pilot study with the twin study group at St Thomasís hospital in London confirming the heritability of patent foramen ovale (PFO). We are collaborating with them to do a genome wide study on the genetics of PFO. Juni Sultan (currently funded by the Local Comprehensive Research Network, previously by MSRT) has completed a study on engineered compression stockings for the treatment of ankle fracture demonstrating a marked improvement in recovery by two months and a significant reduction in the frequency of deep vein thrombosis. His application for an NIHR I4I project grant was short listed for a full application which is in the process of being submitted. Previous Research Fellows Vashist Sekar and Uma Velupandian are submitting manuscripts for publication and their thesis for PhDs.

During the year, eleven papers were accepted for publication with two manuscripts in press. There have been fourteen presentations to learned societies and CNM delivered a plenary lecture at the European Society of Vascular Surgery on AAA screening.