SOSVASC – Peter Gillgren's research group

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 . The SOSVASC group constitutes of a group of researchers focusing on arteriosclerotic and degenerative vascular disorders.

Vascular Surgery Research Group KI SÖS

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.

  • Carotid disease
  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
  • Aortic disease
  • Trauma
  • Caring science
  • Wound therapy


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.

National and 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.
  • Swedpad study: National Swedish randomized study comparing balloons and stents with – and without – drug eluting mechanism for patients with PAD.
  • Basil-2 study: A multi-centre randomised controlled trial to find out if a ‘vein bypass first’ or a ‘best endovascular first’ revascularisation strategy is best in patients with severe limb ischaemia. Website.

Articles 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


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

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

Professor Mario Lachat, Universitätsspital Zürich.

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.

Professor Andrew Bradbury, University of Birmingham, England, The Basil-2 trial.


Selected publications

Staff and contact

Group leader

All members of the group