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Vascular Surgery Research Group KI SÖS

Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death in Sweden today and it has been estimated that 1,4 million people are suffering from it . At the Department of Clinical Science and Education (KI SÖS), we promote clinical research aimed at widespread diseases. The SOSVASC group constitutes of a group of researchers focusing on arteriosclerotic and degenerative vascular disorders. To strengthen the clinical research at KI SÖS we have broadened ongoing projects by networking with other groups at Karolinska Institutet, as well as national and international external departments. The SOSVASC group is the connective link for persons involved in vascular research.

The consequences of vascular disease are dependent on the affected segment of the vascular “tree”. Therefore we have divided our research fields into the following areas.

  • Carotid disease
  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
  • Aortic disease
  • Trauma

Within each of these groups we have ongoing projects:

Carotid disease

  1. Methodological aspects on carotid intervention.
  2. Biomarkers and cellular mechanisms to predict unstable arterioscleroses.

Aortic disease

  1. Aneurysm of the abdominal aorta; hereditary aspects and screening.
  2. Ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm – patient characteristics, x-ray findings and results of treatment.
  3. Mapping of the prevalence and treatment results of aortic dissection.
  4. The results of treatment when branched endovascular grafts are used involving visceral arteries.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD)

  1. PAD and diabetes; mechanisms for ischemia and long term results.
  2. The natural course for patients with PAD.
  3. Risk factors for worsened outcome after amputation preceded by a vascular intervention.
  4. Evaluation of patient centered follow-up program after vascular intervention for claudication.


  1. Long term follow-up for patients treated for traumatic aortic injury.
  2. Evaluation and improvement of surgical methods in blast and gun wounds.

The SOSVASC group is participating in the following national/international studies:

  • ACST-2: Asymptomatic Carotid Surgery Trial. Large international randomized trial comparing carotid endarterectomy vs. carotid artery stenting in patients with asymptomatic carotid stenosis. Peter Gillgren is principal investigator in Sweden. Website.
  • Euclid: Randomised international study comparing Ticagrelol with Clopidogrel for patients with PAD. Website.
  • Swedpad study: National Swedish randomized study comparing balloons and stents with – and without – drug eluting mechanism for patients with PAD.
  • ticAAA-study:Can a drug prevent growth in abdominal aneurysms? Ticagrelol is compared with placebo. Dr Anneli Linné is a co-researcher in this national study. Website.

Selected publications from the research group that have changed the clinical routines in our patients:

  • We have shown that urgent treatment of symptomatic carotid stenting is not associated with an increased risk as compared to later stenting 1
  • In a collaboration with the University hospital in Zurich, Dr Steuer has shown that there is a sub-acute phase in type B aortic dissection 2
  • In a collaboration with the STAR group (name as link) at the Institution of molecular medicine and surgery along with Dr Linné , the SOSVASC group has shown  the link between low income, low educational level and immigrant status and non-participating in aortic screening programmes. In addition Dr Linné has shown that results of treatment do not vary between screened and non-screened patients with aortic abdominal aneurysms. 3
  • Dr Sartipy has shown that procalcitonin is a valuable marker when distinguishing infection from inflammation after endovascular treatment for abdominal aneurysms. 4
  • An increase of the marker PCSK6, a protease, is seen in patients with unstable arteriosclerosis. 5

Research Group

Peter Gillgren, Research group leader

Johnny Steuer, Post-doc

Jonas Malmstedt, Post-doc

Anneli Linné, Post-doc

Magnus Jonsson, PhD-student

Christian Smedberg, PhD-student

Sayid Zommorodi, PhD-student

Eva Torbjörnsson, PhD-student

Andreas Älgå, PhD-student

Fredrik Sartipy, PhD-student

Sara Haile, PhD-student


External PhD-student with ongoing SOSVASC project:

Otto Stackelberg, PhD-student


External Post-doc:

Birgitta Sigvant, Post-doc


Our partners in internal/external networks:

Associate professor Rebecka Hultgren, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, STAR-Stockholm Aneurysm Research Group, Karolinska Institutet.

Senior researcher David Lindström at Ulf Hedins Research Group, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet

Professor Ulf Hedins Research Group, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet.

Professor Mario Lachat, University of Zurich, website.

Professor Anders Wanhainen, Uppsala University, website.

Professor Johan Frostegård, Unit of Immunology and Chronic Disease, Karolinska Institutet.

MD Klas Österberg, University of Gothenburg, website.

Senior lecturer Johan von Schreeb, Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet.

MD Birgitta Sigvant, Centralsjukhuset i Karlstad.

MD Carin Ottosson, Department of Clinical Science and Education, Södersjukhuset, Karolinska Institutet.

MD Martin Delle, Department of Clinical Science and Education, Södersjukhuset, Karolinska Institutet.


Selected Publications

1. Long-Term Outcome After Carotid Artery Stenting: A Population-Based Matched Cohort Study.
Jonsson M, Lindström D, Gillgren P, Wanhainen A, Malmstedt J
Stroke 2016 Aug;47(8):2083-9

2.  Peri-procedural Risk with Urgent Carotid Artery Stenting: A Population based Swedvasc Study.
Jonsson M, Gillgren P, Wanhainen A, Acosta S, Lindström D
Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg 2015 May;49(5):506-12

3. Distinction between acute and chronic type B aortic dissection: is there a sub-acute phase?
Steuer J, Björck M, Mayer D, Wanhainen A, Pfammatter T, Lachat M
Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg 2013 Jun;45(6):627-31

4. Reasons for non-participation in population-based abdominal aortic aneurysm screening.
Linne A, Leander K, Lindström D, Törnberg S, Hultgren R
Br J Surg 2014 Apr;101(5):481-7

5. Profiling of atherosclerotic lesions by gene and tissue microarrays reveals PCSK6 as a novel protease in unstable carotid atherosclerosis.
Perisic L, Hedin E, Razuvaev A, Lengquist M, Osterholm C, Folkersen L, et al
Arterioscler. Thromb. Vasc. Biol. 2013 Oct;33(10):2432-43

6. Low post-operative mortality after surgery on patients with screening-detected abdominal aortic aneurysms: a Swedvasc registry study.
Linné A, Smidfelt K, Langenskiöld M, Hultgren R, Nordanstig J, Kragsterman B, et al
Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg 2014 Dec;48(6):649-56

Cardiovascular Diseases