Grateful Patient Funds New Research into Rare But Deadly Aortic Dissection

After receiving life-saving surgery for an acute aortic dissection (AAD) at Mass General a few years ago, a former patient is helping to fund research into this rare but extremely life-threatening condition.

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(Above, Mark Lindsay, MD, PhD, is conducting a study to search for the genetic underpinnings of acute aortic dissection.)

An AAD begins with a tear in the inner layer of the artery. This tear than allows
blood to leak between layers of the artery, increasing the risk of an aortic rupture.

Chris Toomey, who suffered an AAD and survived following a 10-hour operation and a medically induced coma that lasted more than a week, is now helping to fund a large scale collection of genetic samples from people who have also experienced AAD, with the hope of generating better predictive tests and therapeutic strategies.

The long term, multi-center study is being led by Mark Lindsay, MD, PhD (pictured above).

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