Blood flow in intracranial aneurysms treated with Pipeline embolization devices: computational simulation and verification with Doppler ultrasonography on phantom models

Ultrasonography. 2015 Apr;34(2):98-108. doi: 10.14366/usg.14063. Epub 2015 Jan 31.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to validate a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation of flow-diverter treatment through Doppler ultrasonography measurements in patient-specific models of intracranial bifurcation and side-wall aneurysms.

Methods: Computational and physical models of patient-specific bifurcation and sidewall aneurysms were constructed from computed tomography angiography with use of stereolithography, a three-dimensional printing technology. Flow dynamics parameters before and after flow-diverter treatment were measured with pulse-wave and color Doppler ultrasonography, and then compared with CFD simulations.

Results: CFD simulations showed drastic flow reduction after flow-diverter treatment in both aneurysms. The mean volume flow rate decreased by 90% and 85% for the bifurcation aneurysm and the side-wall aneurysm, respectively. Velocity contour plots from computer simulations before and after flow diversion closely resembled the patterns obtained by color Doppler ultrasonography.

Conclusion: The CFD estimation of flow reduction in aneurysms treated with a flow-diverting stent was verified by Doppler ultrasonography in patient-specific phantom models of bifurcation and side-wall aneurysms. The combination of CFD and ultrasonography may constitute a feasible and reliable technique in studying the treatment of intracranial aneurysms with flow-diverting stents.

Keywords: Endovascular procedures; Flow diverter; Intracranial aneurysm; Printing, three-dimensional; Ultrasonography.