Finite element modeling of endovascular coiling and flow diversion enables hemodynamic prediction of complex treatment strategies for intracranial aneurysm

J Biomech. 2015 Sep 18;48(12):3332-40. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2015.06.018. Epub 2015 Jun 27.


Endovascular interventions using coil embolization and flow diversion are becoming the mainstream treatment for intracranial aneurysms (IAs). To help assess the effect of intervention strategies on aneurysm hemodynamics and treatment outcome, we have developed a finite-element-method (FEM)-based technique for coil deployment along with our HiFiVS technique for flow diverter (FD) deployment in patient-specific IAs. We tested four clinical intervention strategies: coiling (1-8 coils), single FD, FD with adjunctive coils (1-8 coils), and overlapping FDs. By evaluating post-treatment hemodynamics using computational fluid dynamics (CFD), we compared the flow-modification performance of these strategies. Results show that a single FD provides more reduction in inflow rate than low packing density (PD) coiling, but less reduction in average velocity inside the aneurysm. Adjunctive coils add no additional reduction of inflow rate beyond a single FD until coil PD exceeds 11%. This suggests that the main role of FDs is to divert inflow, while that of coils is to create stasis in the aneurysm. Overlapping FDs decreases inflow rate, average velocity, and average wall shear stress (WSS) in the aneurysm sac, but adding a third FD produces minimal additional reduction. In conclusion, our FEM-based techniques for virtual coiling and flow diversion enable recapitulation of complex endovascular intervention strategies and detailed hemodynamics to identify hemodynamic factors that affect treatment outcome.

Keywords: Flow diverter; Flow diverter with adjunctive coils; Treatment outcome; Virtual coiling; Virtual stenting.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis
  • Computer Simulation
  • Finite Element Analysis
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / physiopathology*
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / therapy
  • Models, Biological
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Stents