Objective: Understanding variations in size and pattern of development of angiotensin II (Ang II)-induced abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) may inform translational research strategies. Thus, we sought insight into the temporal evolution of AAA in apolipoprotein (apo)E-/- mice. Approach: A cohort of mice underwent a 4-week pump-mediated infusion of saline (n = 23) or 1500 ng/kg/min of Ang II (n = 85) and AAA development was tracked via in vivo ultrasound imaging. We adjusted for hemodynamic covariates in the regression models for AAA occurrence in relation to time. Results: The overall effect of time was statistically significant (p<0.001). Compared to day 7 of AngII infusion, there was no decrease in the log odds of AAA occurrence by day 14 (-0.234, p = 0.65), but compared to day 21 and 28, the log odds decreased by 9.07 (p<0.001) and 2.35 (p = 0.04), respectively. Hemodynamic parameters were not predictive of change in aortic diameter (Δ) (SBP, p = 0.66; DBP, p = 0.66). Mean total cholesterol (TC) was higher among mice with large versus small AAA (601 vs. 422 mg/ml, p<0.0001), and the difference was due to LDL. AngII exposure was associated with 0.43 mm (95% CI, 0.27 to 0.61, p<0.0001) increase in aortic diameter; and a 100 mg/dl increase in mean final cholesterol level was associated with a 12% (95% CI, 5.68 to 18.23, p<0.0001) increase in aortic diameter. Baseline cholesterol was not associated with change in aortic diameter (p = 0.86). Conclusions: These are the first formal estimates of a consistent pattern of Ang II-induced AAA development. The odds of AAA occurrence diminish after the second week of Ang II infusion, and TC is independently associated with AAA size.
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