Unraveling the relationship between arterial flow and intra-aneurysmal hemodynamics

J Biomech. 2015 Feb 26;48(4):585-91. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2015.01.016. Epub 2015 Jan 21.


Arterial flow rate affects intra-aneurysmal hemodynamics but it is not clear how their relationship is. This uncertainty hinders the comparison among studies, including clinical evaluations, like a pre- and post-treatment status, since arterial flow rates may differ at each time acquisition. The purposes of this work are as follows: (1) To study how intra-aneurysmal hemodynamics changes within the full physiological range of arterial flow rates. (2) To provide characteristic curves of intra-aneurysmal velocity, wall shear stress (WSS) and pressure as functions of the arterial flow rate. Fifteen image-based aneurysm models were studied using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. The full range of physiological arterial flow rates reported in the literature was covered by 11 pulsatile simulations. For each aneurysm, the spatiotemporal-averaged blood flow velocity, WSS and pressure were calculated. Spatiotemporal-averaged velocity inside the aneurysm linearly increases as a function of the mean arterial flow (minimum R(2)>0.963). Spatiotemporal-averaged WSS and pressure at the aneurysm wall can be represented by quadratic functions of the arterial flow rate (minimum R(2)>0.996). Quantitative characterizations of spatiotemporal-averaged velocity, WSS and pressure inside cerebral aneurysms can be obtained with respect to the arterial flow rate. These characteristic curves provide more information of the relationship between arterial flow and aneurysm hemodynamics since the full range of arterial flow rates is considered. Having these curves, it is possible to compare experimental studies and clinical evaluations when different flow conditions are used.

Keywords: CFD; Cerebral aneurysms; Hemodynamics; Wall shear stress; flow rate.

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena / physiology
  • Blood Flow Velocity / physiology
  • Carotid Artery, Internal / physiopathology*
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Hemodynamics / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / physiopathology*
  • Models, Cardiovascular*
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Regional Blood Flow / physiology*
  • Stress, Mechanical