Other Cardiovascular Diseases

Firalis also works on the development of diagnostic and prognostic tools to be used in other cardiovascular diseases. Our pathology of interest includes aortic aneurysm, aortic dissection or aortic rupture.

Aortic dissection and rupturean acute aortic syndrome often occurring as a result of the evolution of another pathology such as aortic aneurysm, hypertension, vasculitis (Takayasu’s arteritis, Giant cell arteritis) or some genetic diseases (Marfan syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome) where it constitute the major cause of morbidity and mortality.

Typically patients present upon the sudden onset of chest pain with a clinical presentation that needs to be differentiated from other acute cardiovascular pathologies such as myocardial infarction. Nowadays, it is possible to diagnose aortic dissection non invasively by imaging techniques; particularly CT-scan and MRI shows a high sensitivity and specificity (>90%) to detect aortic dissection but these examinations require a relatively long time to be performed in an emergency setting; on the other hand transthoracic echography can be performed quickly but show a markedly lower performance in terms of sensitivity and specificity, particularly at the earliest stage of the disease.

These provide solid grounds for the development of biomarkers to be used along existing standards to improve triage of chest pain patients. Another possible indication for these biomarkers is the stratification of high risk group of patients to direct a prophylactic therapeutic intervention.