Computational hemodynamics in cerebral aneurysms: the effects of modeled versus measured boundary conditions

Ann Biomed Eng. 2011 Feb;39(2):884-96. doi: 10.1007/s10439-010-0187-z. Epub 2010 Oct 23.


Modeling of flow in intracranial aneurysms (IAs) requires flow information at the model boundaries. In absence of patient-specific measurements, typical or modeled boundary conditions (BCs) are often used. This study investigates the effects of modeled versus patient-specific BCs on modeled hemodynamics within IAs. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models of five IAs were reconstructed from three-dimensional rotational angiography (3DRA). BCs were applied using in turn patient-specific phase-contrast-MR (pc-MR) measurements, a 1D-circulation model, and a physiologically coherent method based on local WSS at inlets. The Navier-Stokes equations were solved using the Ansys®-CFX™ software. Wall shear stress (WSS), oscillatory shear index (OSI), and other hemodynamic indices were computed. Differences in the values obtained with the three methods were analyzed using boxplot diagrams. Qualitative similarities were observed in the flow fields obtained with the three approaches. The quantitative comparison showed smaller discrepancies between pc-MR and 1D-model data, than those observed between pc-MR and WSS-scaled data. Discrepancies were reduced when indices were normalized to mean hemodynamic aneurysmal data. The strong similarities observed for the three BCs models suggest that vessel and aneurysm geometry have the strongest influence on aneurysmal hemodynamics. In absence of patient-specific BCs, a distributed circulation model may represent the best option when CFD is used for large cohort studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Cerebral Arteries / physiopathology*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Cardiovascular*