The Calgary Thoracic Aorta Program are committed to improving care and treatment for patients with aortic diseases. Current research projects include:

TITAN: SvS - Treatment In Thoracic Aortic aNeurysm: Surgery vs Surveillance

Prospective multicenter trial randomizing patients with moderate sized ascending aortic aneurysms to surgery vs medical treatment.

ASSIST - Aortic diSSection and stroke Imaging Study

Prospective assessment of incidence and mechanism of stroke in patients with acute aortic dissection.

HEADSTART - Hemiarch vs Extended arch in Aortic Dissection - a SystemaTic Analysis by Randomized Trial

Prospective randomized trial comparing hemiarch repair vs total arch and stent graft at time of acute Type A aortic dissection.

BIOMECHANICAL ENGINEERING RESEARCH, CardioVascular Mechanics Lab, University of Calgary

We are developing software tools to help in the risk stratification of thoracic aortic aneurysms. Rupture of aortic aneurysms has high mortality; yet many patients present with aneurysms that do not lead to rupture, and the surgical treatment of aneurysm is high risk in itself. The currently accepted practice is to monitor the size of the aneurysm at one location from regular imaging.

Our novel computational method will allow to estimate the mechanical properties of the aorta from dynamic CT or MR images. Together with other indices of risk this will be used to assess aneurysms for surgical planning. We are collecting mechanical, histological and histochemical data on aortic samples to validate our approach. A key element of the validation is achieved performing ex-vivo mechanical characterization of the specimens to measure the anisotropic mechanical properties of arterial tissue and compare them to model predictions. A new instrument is under development that will allow the mechanical characterization directly under a confocal microscope.

Please find our team brochure for the University of Calgary Biomechanical Research team Cardiovascular Mechanics Lab


Funding for our research is very important to further our knowledge of this complex medical research into the care of aortic pathology.  If you are able to support the Calgary Thoracic Aortic Program research mission, please click on the link below.