Object: To obtain precise flow profiles in patients' aneurysms, the authors developed a new in vitro study method featuring an aneurysm model manufactured using three-dimensional computerized tomography (3D CT) angiography.
Methods: A clear acrylic basilar artery (BA) tip aneurysm model manufactured from a patient's 3D CT angiogram was used to analyze flow modifications during one cardiac cycle. Stereolithography was utilized to create the aneurysm model. Three-dimensional flow profiles within the aneurysm model were obtained from velocity measurements by using laser Doppler velocimetry. The aneurysm inflow/outflow zones changed dynamically in their location, size of their cross-sectional area, and also in their shapes over one cardiac cycle. The flow velocity at the inflow zone was 16.8 to 81.9% of the highest axial velocity in the BA with a pulsatility index (PI) of 1.1. The flow velocity at the outflow zone was 16.8 to 34.3% of the highest axial velocity of the BA, with a PI of 0.68. The shear stress along the walls of the aneurysm was calculated from the fluid velocity measured at a distance of 0.5 mm from the wall. The highest value of shear stress was observed at the bleb of the aneurysm.
Conclusions: This clear acrylic model of a BA tip aneurysm manufactured using a CT angiogram allowed qualitative and quantitative analysis of its flow during a cardiac cycle. Accumulated knowledge from this type of study may reveal pertinent information about aneurysmal flow dynamics that will help practitioners understand the relationship among anatomy, flow dynamics, and the natural history of aneurysms.