Mechanical properties and microstructure of intraluminal thrombus from abdominal aortic aneurysm

J Biomech Eng. 2001 Dec;123(6):536-9. doi: 10.1115/1.1411971.


Accurate estimation of the wall stress distribution in an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) may prove clinically useful by predicting when a particular aneurysm will rupture. Appropriate constitutive models for both the wall and the intraluminal thrombus (ILT) found in most AAA are necessary for this task. The purpose of this work was to determine the mechanical properties of ILT within AAA and to derive a more suitable constitutive model for this material. Uniaxial tensile testing was carried out on 50 specimens, including 14 longitudinally oriented and 14 circumferentially oriented specimens from the luminal region of the ILT, and 11 longitudinally oriented and 11 circumferentially oriented specimens from the medial region. A two-parameter, large-strain, hyperelastic constitutive model was developed and used to fit the uniaxial tensile testing data for determination of the material parameters. Maximum stiffness and strength were also determined from the data for each specimen. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was conducted to study the regional microstructural difference. Our results indicate that the microstructure of ILT differs between the luminal, medial, and abluminal regions, with the luminal region stronger and stiffer than the medial region. In all cases, the constitutive model fit the experimental data very well (R2>0.98). No significant difference was found for either of the two material parameters between longitudinal and circumferential directions, but a significant difference in material parameters, stiffness, and strength between the laminal and medial regions was determined (p<0.01). Therefore, our results suggest that ILT is an inhomogeneous and possibly isotropic material. The two-parameter, hyperelastic, isotropic, incompressible material model derived here for ILT can be easily incorporated into finite element models for simulation of wall stress distribution in AAA.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal / complications
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal / physiopathology*
  • Aortic Dissection / complications
  • Aortic Dissection / physiopathology*
  • Elasticity
  • Endothelium / ultrastructure
  • Fibrin / ultrastructure
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Models, Cardiovascular
  • Regression Analysis
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Tensile Strength / physiology
  • Thrombosis / etiology
  • Thrombosis / pathology*
  • Thrombosis / physiopathology*


  • Fibrin