Micromovements at the aortic aneurysm neck measured during open surgery with close-range photogrammetry: implications for aortic endografts

J Endovasc Ther. 2001 Oct;8(5):511-20. doi: 10.1177/152660280100800514.


Purpose: To describe the motion of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) as a first step toward determining if stent-graft migration may be due to propulsive movements at the neck.

Method: In an initial laboratory validation test, a silicone AAA model was imaged with a stereo-pair configuration of calibrated digital cameras using retro-reflective and ink dot surface targets. This technique was then applied to 4 aneurysm necks imaged at open surgery. In each case the paired images were measured and analyzed to produce sequences of accurate three-dimensional (3-D) surface models of the anterior aspect of the aortic neck. Engineering techniques were used to visualize and identify differences between the generated surfaces, allowing changes in shape of the aortic wall to be determined.

Results: The correlation between stereoscopic digital imaging with electronic caliper measurements of linear dimensions was accurate, irrespective of the type of surface targets used (r2 = 0.98). The AAA neck demonstrated complex 3-D movements that ranged from 1.0 to 1.5 mm in the radial direction to 0.6 to 1.0 mm along the longitudinal axis, with a 0.44 to 0.59-mm rotational component (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: This pilot study raises questions about the validity of accepted models of arterial wall movements and compliance in which rotation has not been described. The technique used to measure dynamic neck morphology appears promising as a means to further define the mechanical parameters of the human aorta, which may assist in designing stent-grafts.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal / physiopathology*
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal / surgery*
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis Implantation*
  • Foreign-Body Migration / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Cardiovascular
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Photogrammetry / methods*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Stents*