Impact of stents and flow diverters on hemodynamics in idealized aneurysm models

J Biomech Eng. 2011 Jul;133(7):071005. doi: 10.1115/1.4004410.


Cerebral aneurysms constitute a major medical challenge as treatment options are limited and often associated with high risks. Statistically, up to 3% of patients with a brain aneurysm may suffer from bleeding for each year of life. Eight percent of all strokes are caused by ruptured aneurysms. In order to prevent this rupture, endovascular stenting using so called flow diverters is increasingly being regarded as an alternative to the established coil occlusion method in minimally invasive treatment. Covering the neck of an aneurysm with a flow diverter has the potential to alter the hemodynamics in such a way as to induce thrombosis within the aneurysm sac, stopping its further growth, preventing its rupture and possibly leading to complete resorption. In the present study the influence of different flow diverters is quantified considering idealized patient configurations, with a spherical sidewall aneurysm placed on either a straight or a curved parent vessel. All important hemodynamic parameters (exchange flow rate, velocity, and wall shear stress) are determined in a quantitative and accurate manner using computational fluid dynamics when varying the key geometrical properties of the aneurysm. All simulations are carried out using an incompressible, Newtonian fluid with steady conditions. As a whole, 72 different cases have been considered in this systematic study. In this manner, it becomes possible to compare the efficiency of different stents and flow diverters as a function of wire density and thickness. The results show that the intra-aneurysmal flow velocity, wall shear stress, mean velocity, and vortex topology can be considerably modified thanks to insertion of a suitable implant. Intra-aneurysmal residence time is found to increase rapidly with decreasing stent porosity. Of the three different implants considered in this study, the one with the highest wire density shows the highest increase of intra-aneurysmal residence time for both the straight and the curved parent vessels. The best hemodynamic modifications are always obtained for a small aneurysm diameter.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis
  • Computer Simulation
  • Hemodynamics / physiology*
  • Hemorheology
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / physiopathology*
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / therapy*
  • Models, Cardiovascular*
  • Porosity
  • Prosthesis Design / methods*
  • Regional Blood Flow / physiology
  • Stents*
  • Stress, Mechanical