Objective: To translate the individual abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) patient's biomechanical rupture risk profile to risk-equivalent diameters, and to retrospectively test their predictability in ruptured and non-ruptured aneurysms.
Methods: Biomechanical parameters of ruptured and non-ruptured AAAs were retrospectively evaluated in a multicenter study. General patient data and high resolution computer tomography angiography (CTA) images from 203 non-ruptured and 40 ruptured aneurysmal infrarenal aortas. Three-dimensional AAA geometries were semi-automatically derived from CTA images. Finite element (FE) models were used to predict peak wall stress (PWS) and peak wall rupture index (PWRI) according to the individual anatomy, gender, blood pressure, intra-luminal thrombus (ILT) morphology, and relative aneurysm expansion. Average PWS diameter and PWRI diameter responses were evaluated, which allowed for the PWS equivalent and PWRI equivalent diameters for any individual aneurysm to be defined.
Results: PWS increased linearly and PWRI exponentially with respect to maximum AAA diameter. A size-adjusted analysis showed that PWS equivalent and PWRI equivalent diameters were increased by 7.5 mm (p = .013) and 14.0 mm (p < .001) in ruptured cases when compared to non-ruptured controls, respectively. In non-ruptured cases the PWRI equivalent diameters were increased by 13.2 mm (p < .001) in females when compared with males.
Conclusions: Biomechanical parameters like PWS and PWRI allow for a highly individualized analysis by integrating factors that influence the risk of AAA rupture like geometry (degree of asymmetry, ILT morphology, etc.) and patient characteristics (gender, family history, blood pressure, etc.). PWRI and the reported annual risk of rupture increase similarly with the diameter. PWRI equivalent diameter expresses the PWRI through the diameter of the average AAA that has the same PWRI, i.e. is at the same biomechanical risk of rupture. Consequently, PWRI equivalent diameter facilitates a straightforward interpretation of biomechanical analysis and connects to diameter-based guidelines for AAA repair indication. PWRI equivalent diameter reflects an additional diagnostic parameter that may provide more accurate clinical data for AAA repair indication.
Keywords: Aneurysm repair indication; Aneurysms rupture; Biomechanical analysis; Computer-based model; Risk assessment.
Copyright © 2013 European Society for Vascular Surgery. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.