Hemodynamics and rupture of terminal cerebral aneurysms

Acad Radiol. 2009 Oct;16(10):1201-7. doi: 10.1016/j.acra.2009.03.022. Epub 2009 Jun 23.


Rationale and objectives: The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between hemodynamics patterns and aneurysmal rupture in cerebral aneurysms of the same morphology regardless their location. Particularly, terminal aneurysms in both the anterior and posterior circulation were studied.

Materials and methods: A total of 42 patient-specific vascular models were constructed from three-dimensional rotational angiography images. All patients had terminal aneurysms at different arteries: a) middle cerebral; b) anterior communicating; c) internal carotid (terminus); d) internal carotid-posterior communicating; e) basilar; or f) anterior cerebral. Hemodynamics information (intra-aneurysmal velocity and wall shear stress distributions) was derived from image-based computational fluid dynamics models with realistic patient-specific anatomies.

Results: The group of aneurysms with an inflow jet that splits in two secondary jets, one of which enters the aneurysm before reaching one of the daughter vessels (type B), had the highest peak wall shear stress (WSS) and the highest rupture rate. The peak WSS averaged over each flow type showed a higher value in the ruptured group. The average peak WSS in the ruptured group (all types) was 188 dyn/cm(2) (compared to 118 dyn/cm(2) for the unruptured).

Conclusions: This finding is in agreement with a previous work in which only anterior communicating artery aneurysms were investigated. The significance of these findings is that, if they are statistically confirmed with larger number of cases, flow types could be directly observed during angiographic examinations and linked to WSS categories that may help evaluate which aneurysms are more likely to rupture.

MeSH terms

  • Aneurysm, Dissecting / diagnostic imaging
  • Aneurysm, Dissecting / physiopathology*
  • Aneurysm, Ruptured / diagnostic imaging
  • Aneurysm, Ruptured / physiopathology*
  • Blood Flow Velocity*
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnostic imaging
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Models, Cardiovascular*
  • Radiography
  • Rupture, Spontaneous / diagnostic imaging
  • Rupture, Spontaneous / physiopathology