Publications by VRCNZ Members


Genetic Architecture of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm in the Million Veteran Program Klarin D, Verma SS, Judy R, …, Jones GT, Bown MJ, Nadkarni G, Kullo I, Ritchie M, Damrauer SM, Tsao PS on behalf of the VA Million Veteran Program 2020.  Genetic Architecture of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm in the Million Veteran Program.  Circulation doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.120.047544

Genome-wide association study of intracranial aneurysms reveals 17 risk loci, polygenic architecture, genetic overlap with clinical risk factors, and opportunities for prevention. Bakker MK, van der Spek RAA, van …, Jones GT, …, Veldink JH, Ruigrok YM 2020.  Nature Genetics, doi:10.1038/s41588-020-00725-7  

Both small and large infrarenal aortic size is associated with an increased prevalence of ischaemic heart.  Jones GT, Drinkwater B, Blake-Barlow A. Hill BG. Williams MJA, Krysa J, van Rij A.M, Coffey S 2020. European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, 60:594-601


A non-coding genetic variant associated with abdominal aortic aneurysm alters ERG gene regulation. Marsman J, Gimenez G, Day RC, Horsfield JA, Jones GT 2020.  Human Molecular Genetics, 29(4):554-565.

A variant of the castor zinc finger 1 (CASZ1) gene is differentially associated with the clinical classification of chronic venous disease.  Jones GT, Marsman J, Pardo LM, Nijsten T, De Maeseneer M, Phillips LV, Lynch-Sutherland C, Horsfield J, Krysa J, van Rij AM 2019.   Scientific Reports, 9(1):14011,


Comorbidities and opportunistic detection do not stop AAA screening from being cost-effective and equity enhancing.

Bartholomew K, Bramley D, Crengle S, Grey C, Hill A, Jones GT, Khashram M, Roake J, Sandiford P and Scott N 2019.  (letter to editor)


Health gains, costs, and cost-effectiveness of a population-based screening programme for abdominal aortic aneurysms in New Zealand.

Nair N, Kvizhinadze G, Jones GT, Rush R, Khashram M, Roake J, Blakely T 2019.  British Journal of Surgery, doi:10.1002/bjs.11169.


Genetics of thoracic and abdominal aortic disease: Aneurysms, Dissections and Ruptures.

Pinard A, Jones GT, Milewicz DM 2019. Circulation Research, 124: 588-606

Correcting for body surface area identifies the true prevalence of abdominal aortic aneurysm in screened women.

Jones GT, Sandiford P, Hill BG, Williams MJA, Khashram M, Tilyard MW, Hammond-Tooke GD, Krysa J, van Rij AM 2019 . European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery. 57:221-228  doi: 10.1016/j.ejvs.2018.08.048


The role of lipids and lipid drug targets in abdominal aortic aneurysm

Harrison SC, Holmes MV, Burgess S, Asselbergs FW, Jones GT, Baas AF, van ‘t Hof FN, de Bakker PIW, Blankensteijn JD, Powell JT, Saratzis A, Jan de Borst G, Swerdlow DI, van der Graaf Y, van Rij AM, Carey DJ, Elmore JR, Tromp G, Kuivaniemi H, Sayers RD, Samani NJ, Bown MJ, Humphries SE 2018

JAMA Cardiology, 3(1):26-33 PMID: 29188294


Development and validation of a predictive model to aid in the management of intact abdominal aortic aneurysms

Khashram M, Kvizhinadze G,Khashram Z, Williman JA, Jones GT, Roake JA 2018

European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery,


Correcting for body surface area identifies the true prevalence of abdominal aortic aneurysm in screened women

Jones GT, Sandiford P, Hill BG, Williams MJA, Khashram M, Tilyard MW, Hammond-Tooke GD, Krysa J, van Rij AM 2018

European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery. doi: 10.1016/j.ejvs.2018.08.048. 


Meta-Analysis of Genome-Wide Association Studies for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Identifies Four New Disease-Specific Risk Loci

Jones GT, Tromp G, Kuivaniemi H, Gretarsdottir S, et al. 2017.

Circulation Research, 120:341-353. PMID: 27899403


Management of Modifiable Vascular Risk Factors Improves Late Survival Following Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair? A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

Khashram M, Hider PN, Williman JA, Jones GT, Roake JA 2017. 

Annals of Vascular Surgery, 39:301-311 DOI: 10.1016/j.avsg.2016.07.066 PMID: 27666804


Association Between Telomere Length and Risk of Cancer and Non-Neoplastic Diseases, A Mendelian Randomization Study

The Telomeres Mendelian Randomization Collaboration 2017

JAMA Oncology 3(5):636-651  doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.5945. PMID: 28241208

Survival disparity following abdominal aortic aneurysm repair highlights inequality in ethnic and socioeconomic status

Khashram M, Suzanne Pitama S. Williman JA, Jones GT, Roake JA 2017

European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery 54(6): 689-696 PMID:2902995


Integrated microRNA and messenger RNA analysis in aortic stenosis.

Coffey S Williams MJA, Phillips LV, Galvin IF, Bunton RW, Jones GT 2016.  Integrated microRNA and messenger RNA analysis in aortic stenosis.

Scientific Reports, 6: 36904


The impact of CT Colonography on AAA referrals in a Tertiary Hospital

Khashram M, Tiong LC, Jones GT, Roake JA 2016.

Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology.  DOI: 10.1111/1754-9485.12535


Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair in New Zealand: A Validation of the Australasian Vascular Audit.

Khashram M, Thomson IA, Jones GT, Roake JA 2016.

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Surgery,  doi: 10.1111/ans.13702


Comparison of three targeted approaches for abdominal aortic aneurysm screening based on cardiovascular risk.

Jones GT, Hill BG, Curtis, N. Kabir TD, Wong LE, Tilyard MW, Williams MJA, van Rij AM 2016.

British Journal of Surgery; 103(9):1139-1146


Management of Modifiable Vascular Risk Factors Improves Late Survival Following Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair? A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

Khashram M, Hider PN, Williman JA, Jones GT, Roake JA 2016.

Annals of Vascular Surgery, DOI: 10.1016/j.avsg.2016.07.066


Shared genetic risk factors of intracranial, abdominal and thoracic aneurysms.

van ’t Hof FNG, Ruigrok YN, Ripke S, Anderson G, ... Jones GT, ..., AAA Consortium; Vascular Research Consortium of New Zealand; Rinkel GJE, de Bakker PIW 2016.

Journal of the American Heart Association;5:e002603 doi: 10.1161/JAHA.115.002603)


Does the diameter of abdominal aortic aneurysm influence late survival following abdominal aortic aneurysm repair? A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Khashram M, Hider PN, Williman JA, Jones GT, Roake JA 2016. 

Vascular, 24:658-667 doi:10.1177/1708538116650580


Two C-C family chemokines, Eotaxin and RANTES, are novel independent plasma biomarkers for abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Jones GT, Phillips LV, Williams MJA, van Rij AM, Kabir TD 2016. 

Journal of the American Heart Association, 5(5) e002993.  DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.115.002993


Rare sequence variants that disrupt ASGR1 function lower non-HDL cholesterol and protect against coronary artery disease.

Nioi P, Thorleifsson G, Sigurdsson A, Helgadottir A, Magnusdottir A, Gretarsdottir S, Helgason H, Jonsdottir I, Steinthorsdottir V, Rafnar T, Swinkels DW, Galesloot TE, Grarup N, Jørgensen T, Vestergaard H, Hansen T, Sandbæk A, Lauritzen T, Linneberg A, Friedrich N, Krarup NT, Fenger M, Abildgaard U, Hansen PR, Galløe AM, Braund PS, Nelson CP, Hall AS, Williams MJA, van Rij AM, Jones GT, Patel RS, Levey AI, Hayek S, Shah S, Reilly M, Eyjolfsson G, Sigurdardottir O, Olafsson I, Lambertus A Kiemeney LA, Quyyumi AA, Daniel  J Rader DJ, Kraus WE, Quyyumi A, Samani NJ, Pedersen O, Thorgeirsson G, Masson G, Holm H, Gudbjartsson D, Sulem P, Thorsteinsdottir U, Stefansson K 2016. 

New England Journal of Medicine, 374: 2131-2141, DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1508419


Systematic review and meta-analysis of factors influencing survival following abdominal aortic aneurysm repair.

Khashram M, Williman JA, Hider PN, Jones GT, Roake JA 2016.  

European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, 51(2) 203-215


Diabetes increases autophagy in the human heart through promotion of Beclin-1 mediated pathway

Munasinghe P, Riu F, Dixit P, Midori E, Saxena P, Hamer N, Galvin I, Bunton R, Lequeux S, Jones GT, Lamberts R, Emanueli C, Madeddu P, Katare R 2016. 

Diabetes, 202:13-20


Circulating microRNA profiling needs further refinement before clinical use in patients with aortic stenosis.

Coffey S, Phillips LV, Williams MJA, Jones GT

Journal of the American Heart Association, In Press.


Aortic aneurysm screening

van Rij AM and Jones GT

British Journal of Surgery;102:863-865.


Prevalence of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) in a Population Undergoing CT Colonography in Canterbury, New Zealand

Khashram M, Jones GT, Roake JA

European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery. doi:


Lipoprotein(a) upregulates ABCA1 in liver cells via scavenger receptor-B1 through its oxidised phospholipids

Sharma M, Von Zychlinski-Kleffmann A, Porteous CM, Jones GT, Williams MJA, McCormick SPA

Journal of Lipid Research, In Press doi: 10.1194/jlr.M056150


Cardiometabolic effects of genetic upregulation of the interleukin 1 receptor antagonist: a Mendelian randomisation analysis

Freitag DF, Butterworth AS, Willeit P, Howson JMM, Burgess S, Kaptoge S, Young R, Kee Ho W, Wood A, Sweeting M, Spackman S, Staley J,  Ramond A, Nielsen SF, Grande P, Lange LA, Bown MJ, Jones GT et al

Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, 3:243-253


MicroRNAs are central to osteogenesis: a review with a focus on cardiovascular calcification.

Coffey S, Jones GT

MicroRNA Diagnosis and Therapeutics. 2014; 1: 113–125


Plasma Heat Shock Protein 27 is associated with coronary artery disease, abdominal aortic aneurysm and peripheral artery disease

Cao J, Phillips LV, Williams MJA, van Rij AM, Jones GT

SpringerPlus 3: 635, DOI: 10.1186/2193-1801-3-635


Prevalence of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm in Patients Referred for Transthoracic Echocardiography.

Majeed K, Hamer AW, White SC, Pegg TJ, Wilkins GT, Williams SM, Chen YH, Williams MJ.

Intern Med J, 45:32-9  doi:10.1111/imj.12592

Background: Previous studies have documented the prevalence of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) during transthoracic echocardiography but the effect of such screening on subsequent vascular interventions remains unclear. Aim: To determine the utility of opportunistic selective screening for AAA in a contemporary large series of patients having transthoracic echocardiography.

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International Update on Screening for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms: Issues and Opportunities.

The International AAA Screening Group, Björck M, Bown MJ Choke E… van Rij A, et al.

Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg, In press.

Screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) has been shown to be effective at reducing AAA-related mortality and is cost-effective. There are, however, significant variations in AAA screening protocols between healthcare systems and numerous challenges to be overcome. Further evidence of cost- and clinical effectiveness is likely to be required before there is widespread international adoption of AAA screening.

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Quality improvement in vascular surgery: The role of comparative audit and Vascunet.

Mitchell D, Venermo M, Mani K, Bjorck M, Troeng T, Debus S, … Thomson I, et al.

Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg, In press.

Most nations with developed healthcare systems have a strong interest in audit, both for financial and clinical quality control. Whereas financial control has been a key political requirement for managing healthcare, the use of clinical outcome data has, until recently, taken more of a back seat. Clinical audit has a long history of describing outcomes and challenging established attitudes or practice. Responses to published audits vary. Some clinicians voice criticism of bias as a result of selective reporting, either from a few units, or because of incomplete datasets. Attitudes have gradually changed with improved understanding of the role of audit as a tool to examine and refine standards of practice. This has been accompanied by a growth in clinical audit across all branches of medicine.

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A nurse-run clinic for patients with incidentally discovered small abdominal aortic aneurysms is feasible and cost-effective.

Griffin J, Clarke G, Roake J, Lewis D.

Vascular, In press.

Introduction: Patients with incidentally discovered small abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) require assessment by a vascular surgery department for possible enrollment in a surveillance programme. Our unit implemented a vascular nurse-run AAA clinic in October 2010. The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of a specialist nurse-run small AAA clinic. Methods: Demographic and clinical data were collected prospectively for all patients seen in the new vascular nurse clinic between October 2010 and November 2012. A validated AAA operative mortality score was used to aid decision making by the vascular nurse.

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The prevalence, incidence, progression, and risks of aortic valve sclerosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Coffey S, Cox B, Williams MJ.

J Am Coll Cardiol, 63(25 Pt A):2852-61.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to comprehensively review the epidemiology of aortic sclerosis (ASc) and its association with cardiovascular events. Background: ASc, which is defined as thickening or calcification of the aortic valve without significant obstruction of blood flow, is a common finding on cardiac imaging.

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Comparison of FLIXENE™ and standard PTFE arteriovenous graft for early haemodialysis.

Chiang N, Hulme KR, Haggart PC, Vasudevan T.

J Vasc Access, 15(2):116-22.

The purpose is to compare the outcomes of FLIXENE™ arteriovenous graft (AVG) to standard polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) AVG for early haemodialysis. This is a prospective observational study of all AVGs placed over a 40-month period between 2008 and 2011 at our vascular unit. Primary outcome was to examine early cannulation rates for FLIXENE™. Secondary outcomes included patency rates, usability of grafts, complications in particular infections, interventions and death in comparison to standard PTFE grafts.

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Correlation of ABCD2 Score with Degree of Internal Carotid Artery Stenosis: An Observational Pilot Study.

Khashram M, Vasudevan TM, Donnell A, Lewis DR.

Ann Vasc Surg, 28(5):1192-1196.

ABCD2 is a validated scoring system that predicts the risk of stroke after a transient ischemic attack (TIA). International guidelines suggest that patients with a low score can be investigated on an outpatient basis. The ABCD2 score, however, cannot identify which patients have significant internal carotid artery (ICA) disease, and this group of patients could benefit from rapid access carotid endarterectomy (RACE). Studies have shown that patients with significant carotid artery disease have a higher risk of neurologic events or recurrent stroke. The aim of this study was to document the range of ABCD2 scores in patients with carotid artery-related TIA, and investigate any correlation between the ABCD2 scores and ICA stenosis.

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Evaluation of the accuracy of Aorta Scan BVI 9600 in screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Nguyen ATV, Hill, GB, Thomson, IA, van Rij AM.

Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg, 48(2):147-52.

Despite a decreasing incidence of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), the cost-effectiveness of AAA ultrasound screening can be improved by reducing the screening costs and increasing the uptake rates. The BVI 9600 (BVI) is a promising tool for this purpose as it is inexpensive and can detect AAA without a trained operator. This study aims to investigate whether the BVI can be used to detect AAA for the purpose of a low-cost outreach screening approach.

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Editor's Choice: Contemporary treatment of popliteal artery aneurysm in eight countries: A Report from the Vascunet collaboration of registries.

Björck M, Beiles B, Menyhei G, Thomson I, et al.

Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg, 47(2):164-71.

Objectives: To study contemporary popliteal artery aneurysm (PA) repair. Methods: Vascunet is a collaboration of population-based registries in 10 countries: eight had data on PA repair (Australia, Finland, Hungary, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland). Results: From January 2009 until June 2012, 1,471 PA repairs were registered. There were 9.59 operations per million person years, varying from 3.4 in Hungary to 17.6 in Sweden. Median age was 70 years, ranging from 66 years in Switzerland and Iceland to 74 years in Australia and New Zealand; 95.6% were men and 44% were active smokers.

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Lack of progress in valvular heart disease in the pre-transcatheter aortic valve replacement era: Increasing deaths and minimal change in mortality rate over the past three decades.

Coffey S, Cox B, Williams MJ.

Am Heart J, 167(4):562-7.

Background: Valvular heart disease (VHD) is an increasingly common problem in clinical practice. With the development of new but expensive therapeutic options, health care systems require timely epidemiological information on VHD. We sought to determine the mortality burden of VHD and how it has changed over time. Methods: Population level data from the United States (US) from 1979 to 2009 were used to examine trends in VHD mortality rates over time. Our outcome measure was death, where the primary cause of death was valvular heart disease.

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Impaired relaxation despite upregulated calcium-handling protein atrial myocardium from type 2 diabetic patients with preserved ejection fraction.

Lamberts RR, Lingam SJ, Wang HY, … Williams MJ, et al.

Cardiovasc Diabetol,13:72.

Diastolic dysfunction is a key factor in the development and pathology of cardiac dysfunction in diabetes, however the exact underlying mechanism remains unknown, especially in humans. We aimed to measure contraction, relaxation, expression of calcium-handling proteins and fibrosis in myocardium of diabetic patients with preserved systolic function.

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A Variant in LDLR Is Associated With Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm.

Bradley DT, Hughes AE, Badger SA, Jones GT, …van Rij A, et al.

Circ Cardiovasc Genet, 6(5):498-504.

Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a common cardiovascular disease among older people and demonstrates significant heritability. In contrast to similar complex diseases, relatively few genetic associations with AAA have been confirmed. We reanalyzed our genome-wide study and carried through to replication suggestive discovery associations at a lower level of significance.

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The valves and tributary veins of the saphenofemoral junction: ultrasound findings in normal limbs.

Dickson R, Hill G, Thomson IA, van Rij AM.

Vein Lymph, 2(2):e18.

In the past the saphenofemoral junction (SFJ) for the surgeon was regarded as a simple conduit to be obliterated. With modern ultrasound we can distinguish the components of this complex structure and examine their haemodynamic function and suggest more haemodynamically-focused interventions. Despite this, there are no ultrasound studies describing the components of the normal SFJ and their haemodynamic significance. Patients attending our vascular laboratory with suspected deep vein thrombosis were screened and the SFJ in 75 limbs with no physiological or haemodynamic abnormalities were examined.

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Erythromelalgia? A Clinical Study of People Who Experience Red, Hot, Painful Feet in the Community

Friberg D, Chen T, Tarr G, van Rij, A.

Int J Vasc Med, 2013:Art ID 864961.

We recruited a population of people who clinically suffer from the symptoms of erythromelalgia, red, hot, painful feet made worse by heat and improved by cooling, to better characterise this population and measure their quality of life (QOL).

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Deep venous reflux definitions and associated clinical and physiological significance.

Lim KH, Hill G, Tarr G, van Rij AM.

J Vasc Surg Venous Lymphat Disord, 1(4):325-32.

Deep venous reflux (DVR) is often a poorly defined clinical entity. The extent of DVR that must occur for it to be clinically and hemodynamically important is not clear and is usually confounded by the presence of superficial venous reflux. This study aims to investigate the effect of the extent of DVR on clinical and hemodynamic parameters while controlling for the presence of superficial reflux.

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Novices may be trained to screen for abdominal aortic aneurysms using ultrasound.

Nguyen ATV, Hill GB, Versteeg MPT, Thomson IA, van Rij AM.

Cardiovasc Ultrasound, 11(1):42.

Highly trained vascular sonographers make up a significant cost of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) ultrasound screening. However, they are over-trained for this very limited task. Others have reported that health workers (e.g. emergency room staff and nurses) with far less training may be able to perform these scans. The national AAA screening programme in the UK uses staff with limited training. Whether individuals without a health professional qualification could be trained to perform the scan accurately to improve cost-effectiveness is not known. We aimed to investigate whether a short, well-supervised course in ultrasonography could train novices to detect AAA for screening purposes.

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Endovascular aortic repair: can we predict who will not get long-term benefit?

Haji Mohd Yasin NAB, Thomson IA, Leon de la Barra S.

N Z Med J, 126(1369):44-52.

The aim of this study is to review our endovascular aortic repair (EVAR) experience in Dunedin Public Hospital as well as assessing the applicability of Mount Sinai score and the American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status classification (ASA) in finding which patients will be most likely to benefit from EVAR.

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Prospective study of natural history of deep vein thrombosis: early predictors of poor late outcomes.

van Rij AM, Hill G, Dutton S, Dickson R, et al.

Ann Vasc Surg, 27(7):924-31.

A proportion of patients with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) will develop postthrombotic syndrome (PTS). Currently, the only clearly identified risk factors for developing PTS are recurrent ipsilateral DVT and extensive proximal disease. The aim of the study was to assess the natural history of DVT and identify early predictors of poor clinical outcome at 5 years.

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Estimating exercise capacity from walking tests in elderly individuals with stable coronary artery disease.

Mandic S, Walker R, Stevens E… Williams MJ.

Disabil Rehabil, 35(22):1853-8.

Compared with symptom-limited cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET), timed walking tests are cheaper, well-tolerated and simpler alternative for assessing exercise capacity in coronary artery disease (CAD) patients. We developed multivariate models for predicting peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak) from 6-minute walk test (6MWT) distance and peak shuttle walk speed for elderly stable CAD patients.

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The management of acute coronary syndrome patients across New Zealand in 2012: results of a third comprehensive nationwide audit and observations of current interventional care.

Ellis C, Gamble G, Devlin G, Elliott J, Hamer A, Williams M, et al.

N Z Med J, 126(1387):36-68.

Aims: To audit all patients admitted to a New Zealand (NZ) Hospital with a suspected or definite acute coronary syndrome (ACS) over a 14-day period, to assess their presentation type and management in hospital and at discharge, with emphasis on time delays for invasive management and revascularisation treatments.

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A sequence variant associated with Sortilin-1 (SORT1) on 1p13.3 is independently associated with Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm.

Jones GT, Bown MJ, Gretarsdottir S, … Phillips LV, Williams MJ, … Vasudevan TM, Lewis DR, Blair RD, Hill AA… van Rij AM.

Hum Mol Genet, 22(14):2941-7.

Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a common human disease with a high estimated heritability (0.7); however, only a small number of associated genetic loci have been reported to date. In contrast, over 100 loci have now been reproducibly associated with either blood lipid profile and/or coronary artery disease (CAD) (both risk factors for AAA) in large-scale meta-analyses. This study employed a staged design to investigate whether the loci for these two phenotypes are also associated with AAA.

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Intra-individual changes of active MMP-9 are associated with in-stent restenosis of bare metal stents.

Tarr GP, Williams MJ, … Phillips LV, van Rij AM, Jones GT.

Cardiology, 124(1):28-35.

Objectives: Increased chronic postprocedural levels of active matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) have been associated retrospectively with a history of in-stent restenosis (ISR). This study aimed to determine whether index or post-percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) plasma levels of active MMP-9 are a predictor of subsequent clinical ISR, in a standard population of patients treated with bare metal coronary stents.

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Initial experience with the Ventana fenestrated system for endovascular repair of juxtarenal and pararenal aortic aneurysms.

Holden A, Mertens R, Hill A, Mariné L, Clair DG.

J Vasc Surg, 57(5):1235-45.

Customized fenestrated endovascular stent grafts have been investigated as an alternative to open surgery for repair of more complex juxtarenal aortic aneurysms (JAAs). The substantial time required to design and manufacture these devices has led to the desire for a standardized fenestrated endovascular system. We report the initial pilot study results of a potential "off-the-shelf" fenestrated device system to assess its initial safety and feasibility for endovascular repair of JAAs and pararenal aortic aneurysms (PAAs).

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Use of an implantable needle guide to access difficult or impossible to cannulate arteriovenous fistulae using the buttonhole technique.

Hill AA, Vasudevan T, Young NP, Crawford M, et al.

J Vasc Access, 14(2):164-9.

Purpose: The aim of this work was to assess the safety and efficacy of the VWING Vascular Needle Guide to assist in cannulation of difficult or impossible to access fistulae using the buttonhole cannulation technique. Methods: VWING devices were surgically implanted into patients with difficult to access fistulae. A nondevice site and a device site were used to access the fistula and perform dialysis over a six month period. The device site utilized the buttonhole cannulation technique. The performance of each access site was recorded.

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Apolipoprotein(a) genetic sequence variants associated with systemic atherosclerosis and coronary atherosclerotic burden but not with venous thromboembolism.

Helgadottir A, Gretarsdottir S, Thorleifsson G, … Jones GT, van Rij AM et al.

J Am Coll Cardiol, 60(8):722-9.

Objectives: The purpose of this study is investigate the effects of variants in the apolipoprotein(a) gene (LPA) on vascular diseases with different atherosclerotic and thrombotic components.

Background: It is unclear whether the LPA variants rs10455872 and rs3798220, which correlate with lipoprotein(a) levels and coronary artery disease (CAD), confer susceptibility predominantly via atherosclerosis or thrombosis.

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Interleukin-6 receptor pathways in abdominal aortic aneurysm

Harrison SC, Smith AJ, Jones GT, Swerdlow DI, et al.

Eur Heart J, 34(48):3707-16.

We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies reporting circulating IL-6 in AAA, and new investigations of the association between a common non-synonymous functional variant (Asp358Ala) in the IL-6R gene (IL6R) and AAA, followed the analysis of the variant both in vitro and in vivo. Inflammation may play a role in the development of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA). Interleukin-6 (IL-6) signalling through its receptor (IL-6R) is one pathway that could be exploited pharmacologically. We investigated this using a Mendelian randomization approach.

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Antegrade superficial femoral artery versus common femoral artery punctures for infrainguinal occlusive disease.

Kweon M, Bhamidipaty V, Holden A, Hill AA.

J Vasc Interv Radiol, 23(9):1160-4.

Purpose: To compare the outcomes of planned superficial femoral artery (SFA) and common femoral artery (CFA) antegrade punctures in patients undergoing endovascular interventions for infrainguinal occlusive arterial disease in a single center. Materials and Methods: Between August 2010 and July 2011, consecutive patients who underwent antegrade puncture of CFA or SFA for infrainguinal occlusive disease were studied. Data including sheath size, rate of closure device usage, and complications relating to the arterial puncture were classified according to Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) classification and analyzed retrospectively.

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Abdominal aortic aneurysm is associated with a variant in low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1.

Bown MJ, Jones GT, Harrison SC, Wright BJ…. VRCNZ Consortium, … van Rij A et al.

Am J Hum Genet, 89(5):619-27.

Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a common cause of morbidity and mortality and has a significant heritability. We carried out a genome-wide association discovery study of 1866 patients with AAA and 5435 controls and replication of promising signals (lead SNP with a p value < 1 × 10−5) in 2871 additional cases and 32,687 controls and performed further follow-up in 1491 AAA and 11,060 controls.

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Large-scale association analysis identifies 13 new susceptibility loci for coronary artery disease.

Schunkert H, König IR, Kathiresan S, Reilly MP, … Jones GT, … van Rij AM, et al.

Nat Genet, 43(4):333-8.

We performed a meta-analysis of 14 genome-wide association studies of coronary artery disease (CAD) comprising 22,233 individuals with CAD (cases) and 64,762 controls of European descent followed by genotyping of top association signals in 56,682 additional individuals. This analysis identified 13 loci newly associated with CAD at P < 5 × 10-8 and confirmed the association of 10 of 12 previously reported CAD loci. The 13 new loci showed risk allele frequencies ranging from 0.13 to 0.91 and were associated with a 6% to 17% increase in the risk of CAD per allele.

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Outcome of the external carotid artery following carotid endarterectomy with added external carotid artery eversion endarterectomy.

Al-Basheer M, Ferrar D, Nelson D, Vasudevan T.

Ann Vasc Dis, 4(3):225-8.

Objective: To study the results of eversion endarteterctomy of the external carotid artery (ECA) performed as part of standard CEA at a tertiary referral center using duplex ultrasonography. Materials and Methods: Sixty patients (18 women and 42 men) who underwent 65 carotid endarterectomies at Waikato Hospital between January 2006 and July 2007 for significant internal carotid artery (ICA) disease were studied. The procedure also included eversion endarterectomy of the ECA with sharp transection at eversion end point. Preoperative and postoperative duplex scans were performed for all patients using Acuson (USA) ultrasound machine and by one sonographer. Postoperative follow-up scans at periods between 6 weeks and 18 months were reviewed and analyzed with Ascer et al. Doppler ultrasound-scan peak systolic velocity (PSV) criteria.

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A population-based study of polymorphisms in genes related to sex hormones and abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Golledge J, Biros E, Warrington N, Jones GT, Cooper M, van Rij AM, et al.

Eur J Hum Genet, 19(3):363-6.

Male gender and family history are risk factors for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). We hypothesized that genes involved in sex hormones might be important in AAA. We investigated the association of aortic diameter with single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes determining circulating sex hormones and their action. We genotyped 74 tagging SNPs across four genes (steroid 5α reductase, subfamily A, polypeptide 1 (SRD5A1), cytochrome P450, family 19, subfamily A, polypeptide 1 (CYP19A1), androgen receptor (AR) and estrogen receptor 2 (ESR2)) related to sex hormone production and action in 1711 men, 640 of whom had an AAA.

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Plasma active matrix metalloproteinase 9 associated to diastolic dysfunction in patients with coronary artery disease.

Chu JW, Jones GT, Tarr GP, Phillips LV, Wilkins GT, van Rij AM, Williams MJ.

Int J Cardiol,147(2):336-8.

Circulating levels of total matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) have been associated with diastolic dysfunction and heart failure [1] and [2]. This study aimed to investigate the relationship of the endogenous active levels of MMP-1,-2,-3 and -9 or tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1 (TIMP-1) and diastolic dysfunction (DD) in the setting of coronary artery disease (CAD).

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Interaction of the inflammasome genes CARD8 and NLRP3 in abdominal aortic aneurysms.

Roberts RL, Van Rij AM, Phillips LV, … Jones GT.

Atherosclerosis, 218(1):123-6.

Objectives: Cholesterol crystals have been shown to cause inflammation, and ultimately atherosclerotic lesions through the activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome. As cholesterol crystals have also been found in the walls of patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA), it is possible that the NLRP3 inflammasome is involved in AAA and genetic variability within this protein complex could alter disease risk. The primary objective of this study was to assess whether there is genetic evidence for a role of the NLRP3 inflammasome in AAA by testing for association of AAA with functional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the CARD8 and NLRP3 genes.

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Trends in incidence and mortality from abdominal aortic aneurysm in New Zealand.

Sandiford P, Mosquera D, Bramley D.

Br J Surg, 98(5):645-51.

Background: This study examined trends in abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) incidence and mortality in New Zealand (NZ) and compared these with mortality rates from England and Wales.

Methods: Cause-specific death data were obtained from the NZ Ministry of Health, UK Office for National Statistics and National Archives (for England and Wales). The NZ National Minimum Data Set provided hospital discharge data from July 1994 to June 2009.

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Initial clinical experience with a sac-anchoring endoprosthesis for aortic aneurysm repair.

Donayre CE, Zarins CK, Krievins DK, Holden A, Hill A, et al.

J Vasc Surg, 53(3):574-82.

All current aortic endografts depend on proximal and distal fixation to prevent migration. However, migration and rupture can occur, particularly in patients with aortic necks that are short or angulated, or both. We present our initial clinical experience with a new sac-anchoring endoprosthesis designed to anchor and seal the device within the aneurysm sac.

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Genome-wide association study identifies a sequence variant within the DAB2IP gene conferring susceptibility to abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Gretarsdottir S1, Baas AF, Thorleifsson G, …van Rij AM, Williams MJ, … Jones GT, et al.

Nat Genet, 42(8):692-7.

We performed a genome-wide association study on 1,292 individuals with abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) and 30,503 controls from Iceland and The Netherlands, with a follow-up of top markers in up to 3,267 individuals with AAAs and 7,451 controls. The A allele of rs7025486 on 9q33 was found to associate with AAA, with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.21 and P = 4.6 x 10(-10). In tests for association with other vascular diseases, we found that rs7025486[A] is associated with early onset myocardial infarction (OR = 1.18, P = 3.1 x 10(-5)), peripheral arterial disease (OR = 1.14, P = 3.9 x 10(-5)) and pulmonary embolism (OR = 1.20, P = 0.00030), but not with intracranial aneurysm or ischemic stroke.

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Assessment of the association between genetic polymorphisms in transforming growth factor beta, and its binding protein (LTBP), and the presence, and expansion, of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm.

Thompson AR, Cooper JA, Jones GT, … van Rij AM, et al.

Atherosclerosis, 209(2):367-73.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) has a strong genetic predisposition. Transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-beta1) is a causal factor in ascending aortic dilatation; however, a role in AAA pathology is unclear. The aim of the study was to determine whether genes coding TGF-beta and its binding protein are associated with the presence and expansion of AAA.

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Sequence variants at CHRNB3-CHRNA6 and CYP2A6 affect smoking behavior.

Thorgeirsson TE1, Gudbjartsson DF, Surakka I, … Jones GT, van Rij AM,  et al.

Nat Genet, 42(5):448-53.

Smoking is a common risk factor for many diseases. We conducted genome-wide association meta-analyses for the number of cigarettes smoked per day (CPD) in smokers (n = 31,266) and smoking initiation (n = 46,481) using samples from the ENGAGE Consortium. In a second stage, we tested selected SNPs with in silico replication in the Tobacco and Genetics (TAG) and Glaxo Smith Kline (Ox-GSK) consortia cohorts (n = 45,691 smokers) and assessed some of those in a third sample of European ancestry (n = 9,040).

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Patient flow to carotid endarterectomy: hastening the patient journey.

Khashram M, Roake JA, Lewis DR.

ANZ J Surg, 80(6):406-10

Early carotid endarterectomy (CEA) after stroke or transient ischaemic attack is the proposed standard of care to prevent recurrent ischaemic events in selected patients. The aim of this study was to investigate if this standard is achieved in a tertiary vascular unit.

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Net-based information on varicose vein treatments: a tangled web.

Ching T, Roake JA, Lewis DR.

N Z Med J, 123(1323):9-15.

0-40% of individuals will be affected by varicose veins during their lifetime. Many will contemplate treatment and will access the (Inter)net for information. The aim of this study is to determine whether New Zealand-based websites are an accurate source of information for the public. Inclusion criteria were New Zealand based websites that contained information on varicose vein treatments. These websites were identified using the search-engines Google and Yahoo.

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Delays in discharge of vascular surgical patients: a prospective audit.

Edirimanne S, Roake JA, Lewis DR

ANZ J Surg, 80(6):443-6.

Aim: To quantify delays in discharge for vascular surgical patients and identify causes of such delays. Methods: A prospective audit of delays in discharge of vascular surgical admissions over a 6-month period was performed. Expected date and time of discharge was compared with actual date and time of discharge. Day-case patients, patients who died during admission and patients not under the direct care of the vascular team were excluded.

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A survey of patient views on receiving vascular outpatient letters.

Brodie T, Lewis DR.

Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg, 39(1) 5-10.

Aim: To assess the attitude of patients to receiving a copy of vascular outpatient clinic letters. Method: 100 patients attending an outpatient vascular clinic at Christchurch Hospital were sent a copy of their outpatient letter along with a questionnaire. This gathered information on the content of the letter, their understanding of it, how useful they found it and whether they would want this practice to continue.

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VRCNZ Publications