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In addition to providing current state-of-the-art medical and surgical treatment for aortic disease, Cedars-Sinai is also actively pursuing the solutions of the future. One area of leading-edge research in progress at Cedars-Sinai focuses on the underlying cause of aortic disease. The significant variation in the presentation of individual patients and families with aortic aneurysm and dissection, whether associated with bicuspid aortic disease, Marfan syndrome or other connective tissue disorders, has prompted investigation regarding the genetic abnormalities involved.
Gene expression studies in general have been in progress at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for the past five years. Aortic tissue genetic expression studies, which began in 2002, are performed on aortic tissue samples taken during surgery. DNA and RNA are extracted from these samples through a multi-stage process. The genetic expression is then analyzed as a potential source of the abnormality contributing to the patient's pathology.
Also in the laboratory, the use of robotic techniques in the next generation of aortic surgery is being explored. The feasibility of using robots in the resection of the aorta through a small incision is being tested, and their use in suturing a Dacron graft within the critical time constraints required for aortic surgery is also being evaluated.