The SIZE MATTERS project aims to implement male-female specific insights of aortic root and ascending aorta characteristics into clinical practice, allowing better identification of high risk Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm (TAA) patients, better timing of intervention based on reliable cut-off values for aorta diameter, stress reduction, better quality of life, and better informed patients who are empowered to participate in clinical decisions.
In order to achieve this, we study: normal and abnormal growth of the aorta in males and females; presentation, treatment and outcomes of males and females in relation to onset of acute aorta events; the prognostic value of biomarkers; the impact of X-linked genetic background; quality of life in males and females with aortic diseases; outcome after aortic surgery in males and females. The results will be used to develop a clinical decision model for the optimal timing of intervention taking into account male-female and size differences, and to make a gender-sensitive information portal with decision aid for patients.
For this project we started a multicenter collaboration, including the Erasmus MC Rotterdam, Radboud UMC Nijmegen, LUMC Leiden and UZ Antwerpen and Catharina Ziekenhuis Eindhoven. On top of that we also have a multidisciplinary approach. Our project includes researchers from many different disciplines: cardiothoracic surgery, cardiology, psychology, epidemiology, anatomy / pathology, genetics and radiology.
Integrating all the research from this project into a patient information portal with a decision making tool will improve patient care. A web-based application will be developed in a multidisciplinary working group, including patient representatives, in collaboration with ZorgKeuzeLab. This will provide patients with an up-to-date reliable website to find information about their disease, help with treatment decision making and improve shared decision making and quality of life.