Grid convergence errors in hemodynamic solution of patient-specific cerebral aneurysms

J Biomech. 2012 Nov 15;45(16):2907-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2012.07.030. Epub 2012 Oct 10.


Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) has become a cutting-edge tool for investigating hemodynamic dysfunctions in the body. It has the potential to help physicians quantify in more detail the phenomena difficult to capture with in vivo imaging techniques. CFD simulations in anatomically realistic geometries pose challenges in generating accurate solutions due to the grid distortion that may occur when the grid is aligned with complex geometries. In addition, results obtained with computational methods should be trusted only after the solution has been verified on multiple high-quality grids. The objective of this study was to present a comprehensive solution verification of the intra-aneurysmal flow results obtained on different morphologies of patient-specific cerebral aneurysms. We chose five patient-specific brain aneurysm models with different dome morphologies and estimated the grid convergence errors for each model. The grid convergence errors were estimated with respect to an extrapolated solution based on the Richardson extrapolation method, which accounts for the degree of grid refinement. For four of the five models, calculated velocity, pressure, and wall shear stress values at six different spatial locations converged monotonically, with maximum uncertainty magnitudes ranging from 12% to 16% on the finest grids. Due to the geometric complexity of the fifth model, the grid convergence errors showed oscillatory behavior; therefore, each patient-specific model required its own grid convergence study to establish the accuracy of the analysis.

MeSH terms

  • Computer Simulation
  • Hemodynamics*
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / physiopathology*
  • Models, Cardiovascular*
  • Pressure