RESEARCH & METHODS

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Main Research Goals

We aim to

  • describe structural and functional alterations of arteries in a wide range of clinical conditions

  • detect and affect interactions between arterial stiffness and hemodynamics

  • determine associations between arterial stiffness, endothelial dysfunction, inflammation and oxidative stress

  • determine low-molecular-weight metabolites involved in the pathogenesis of arterial stiffness, endothelial dysfunction and cardiovascular diseases using metabolomics approach

  • identify diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers of vascular damage and cardiovascular disease

  • test interventions intended to prevent vascular dysfunction and end-organ damage (e.g. antihypertensive drugs, remote ischemic preconditioning) in different clinical settings

 


Methods

Arterial stiffness and central hemodynamics

  • Aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV) (Sphygmocor XCEL®; AtCor Medical, Australia)
  • Pulse wave analysis (PWA) and central blood pressure (Sphygmocor XCEL®; AtCor Medical, Australia), (Mobil-O-Graph®; I.E.M., Germany)
  • Small and large artery elasticity (HDI/PulseWave CR-2000 Research CardioVascular Profiling System; Hypertension Diagnostics Inc., USA)
     

Endothelial dysfunction, local arterial stiffness, carotid intima-media thickness

  • Vascular ultrasonography (Philips CX-50; Philips Medical Systems Inc., USA; M-Turbo®, Sonosite, USA)
    • Blood flow velocities and flow volumes of arteries and veins
    • Flow-mediated dilation (FMD) (FMD Studio, Cardiovascular Suite 3.4, Quipu, Italy)
    • Carotid artery stiffness (Carotid Studio, Cardiovascular Suite 3.4, Quipu, Italy)
    • Carotid intima-media thickness (Carotid Studio, Cardiovascular Suite 3.4, Quipu, Italy)
       

Left ventricular hypertrophy, ankle-brachial index, volume plethysmography, claudication distance

  • Echocardiography (Philips CX-50; Philips Medical Systems Inc., USA)
  • Electrocardiography (MAC1200 ST; GE Healthcare, USA)
  • Air plethysmography (Dopplex ABility® ABI System, Huntleigh Healthcare; UK)
  • Doppler ultrasound (The Portable ABI Kit; D.E. Hokanson, Inc., USA)
  • Treadmill (Vision Fitness T60; Johnson Health Tech. Co., Ltd., Taiwan)

 


Cardiac autonomic function

  • Heart rate variability analysis (Kubios HRV Premium 3.1, Finland)

 

Biomarkers

  • Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)
  • Semi-automated Biochip Array Technology analyzer (The Evidence Investigator™; Randox Laboratories, UK)

 


Targeted and untargeted metabolomics (in cooperation with the Mass-Spectrometry Lab of the Department of Biochemistry)

  • Tandem mass-spectrometry (MS/MS)
  • Flow injection analysis-tandem mass spectrometry (FIA-MS/MS) + targeted quantitative metabolomics kits (AbsoluteIDQ® p180 Kit; BIOCRATES Life Sciences AG, Austria)

 


Animal models

  • In-vivo aortic stiffness and hemodynamic measurements in rats
  • Histological analysis of aortic wall structure

 


Other methods/interventions

  • Remote ischemic preconditioning
  • Computer-tomography-based aortic calcification scoring system
  • Coronary angiographic (SYNTAX, Gensini) and digital subtraction analysis-based scoring systems

 


Statistical analysis in collaboration with professional statisticians

  • (R Development Core Team, Austria)
  • Stata (Version 15.0; Stata Corporation., USA)
  • IBM SPSS Statistics (SPSS, USA)