The evolution of intracranial aneurysms (IAs) is thought to be driven by progressive wall degradation in response to abnormal hemodynamics. Previous studies focused on the relationship between global hemodynamics and wall properties. However, hemodynamics, wall structure and mechanical properties of cerebral aneurysms can be non-uniform across the aneurysm wall. Therefore, the aim of this work is to introduce a methodology for mapping local hemodynamics to local wall structure in resected aneurysm specimens. This methodology combines image-based computational fluid dynamics, tissue resection, micro-CT imaging of resected specimens mounted on 3D-printed aneurysm models, alignment to 3D vascular models, multi-photon microscopy of the wall, and regional mapping of hemodynamics and wall properties. This approach employs a new 3D virtual marking tool for surgeons to delineate the location of the resected specimen directly on the 3D model, while in the surgical suite. The case of a middle cerebral artery aneurysm is used to illustrate the application of this methodology to the assessment of the relationship between local wall shear stress and local wall properties including collagen fiber organization and wall geometry. This methodology can similarly be used to study the relationship between local intramural stresses and local wall structure.
Keywords: Cerebral aneurysms; Collagen architecture; Computational fluid dynamics; Hemodynamics; Micro-CT; Multi-photon microscopy; Specimen resection.