Association between hemodynamics, morphology, and rupture risk of intracranial aneurysms: a computational fluid modeling study

Neurol Sci. 2017 Jun;38(6):1009-1018. doi: 10.1007/s10072-017-2904-y. Epub 2017 Mar 11.


The objective of the study was to examine the correlations between intracranial aneurysm morphology and wall shear stress (WSS) to identify reliable predictors of rupture risk. Seventy-two intracranial aneurysms (41 ruptured and 31 unruptured) from 63 patients were studied retrospectively. All aneurysms were divided into two categories: narrow (aspect ratio ≥1.4) and wide-necked (aspect ratio <1.4 or neck width ≥4 mm). Computational fluid dynamics was used to determine the distribution of WSS, which was analyzed between different morphological groups and between ruptured and unruptured aneurysms. Sections of the walls of clipped aneurysms were stained with hematoxylin-eosin, observed under a microscope, and photographed. Ruptured aneurysms were statistically more likely to have a greater low WSS area ratio (LSAR) (P = 0.001) and higher aneurysms parent WSS ratio (P = 0.026) than unruptured aneurysms. Narrow-necked aneurysms were statistically more likely to have a larger LSAR (P < 0.001) and lower values of MWSS (P < 0.001), mean aneurysm-parent WSS ratio (P < 0.001), HWSS (P = 0.012), and the highest aneurysm-parent WSS ratio (P < 0.001) than wide-necked aneurysms. The aneurysm wall showed two different pathological changes associated with high or low WSS in wide-necked aneurysms. Aneurysm morphology could affect the distribution and magnitude of WSS on the basis of differences in blood flow. Both high and low WSS could contribute to focal wall damage and rupture through different mechanisms associated with each morphological type.

Keywords: Computational fluid dynamics; Hemodynamics; Intracranial aneurysms; Wall shear stress.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aneurysm, Ruptured* / diagnostic imaging
  • Aneurysm, Ruptured* / pathology
  • Aneurysm, Ruptured* / physiopathology
  • Aneurysm, Ruptured* / surgery
  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics*
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnostic imaging*
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / pathology
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / physiopathology*
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Cardiovascular
  • Models, Neurological
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Transcranial