Methods for three-dimensional geometric characterization of the arterial vasculature

Ann Biomed Eng. 2007 Aug;35(8):1368-81. doi: 10.1007/s10439-007-9307-9. Epub 2007 Apr 13.


Complex vascular anatomy often affects endovascular procedural outcome. Accurate quantitative assessment of three-dimensional (3D) in-vivo arterial morphology is therefore vital for endovascular device design, and preoperative planning of percutaneous interventions. The aim of this work was to establish geometric parameters describing arterial branch origin, trajectory, and vessel curvature in 3D space that eliminate the errors implicit in planar measurements. 3D branching parameters at visceral and aortic bifurcation sites, as well as arterial tortuosity were determined from vessel centerlines derived from magnetic resonance angiography data for three subjects. Errors in coronal measurements of 3D branching angles for the right and left renal arteries were 3.1 +/- 3.4 degrees and 7.5 +/- 3.7 degrees , respectively. Distortion of the anterior visceral branching angles from sagittal measurements was less pronounced. Asymmetry in branching and planarity of the common iliac arteries was observed at aortic bifurcations. The renal arteries possessed considerably greater 3D curvature than the abdominal aorta and common iliac vessels with mean average values of 0.114 +/- 0.015 and 0.070 +/- 0.019 mm(-1) for the left and right, respectively. In conclusion, planar projections misrepresented branch trajectory, vessel length, and tortuosity proving the importance of 3D geometric characterization for possible applications in planning of endovascular interventional procedures and providing parameters for endovascular device design.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aorta, Abdominal / anatomy & histology
  • Arteries / anatomy & histology*
  • Humans
  • Iliac Artery
  • Kidney / anatomy & histology
  • Kidney / blood supply*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Anatomic*