Novel and Emerging Technologies (NET) Grant

Prof Ashok Handa, Prof Eleanor Stride and Dr Regent Lee, University of Oxford

Amount: £247,685

The use of ‘keyhole’ procedures to treat heart or artery problems has increased over the years. These procedures involve the insertion of a needle into the artery in the groin which allows access to other parts of the body, such as the heart or arteries elsewhere in the body. At the end of these procedures, the hole in the artery needs to be closed in order to stop the bleeding. If the hole is not fully closed, bleeding from the hole is initially contained by the surrounding tissue creating a ‘pseudoaneurysm’. If left untreated, a pseudoaneurysm can become bigger as the bleeding continues, resulting in swelling, pain, and sometimes skin ulcers. Very rarely, the surrounding tissue can give way and result in sudden massive blood loss.

Keyhole surgery is often the preferred way to treat patients who are frail and elderly, and have other medical problems such as heart disease. This is because the risks associated with a general anaesthetic and open surgery tend to be higher in these patients. However, the conventional treatment for pseudoaneurysm requires open surgery to repair the bleeding hole which exposes these vulnerable patients to the increased risks of surgery, general anaesthesia, bleeding and infection. There are alternative treatments for pseudoaneurysm which do not require open surgery, however not all patients are suitable for such treatment.


The aim of this project is to develop a novel treatment for pseudoaneurysm. The research team will develop a medication which can be injected into the pseudoaneurysm to make the bleeding stop. This new treatment would eliminate the complication or traditional treatment methods and avoid open surgical repair. This is particularly important in vulnerable patients with multiple medical problems.

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