Defining a master curve of abdominal aortic aneurysm growth and its potential utility of clinical management

Comput Methods Programs Biomed. 2021 Sep:208:106256. doi: 10.1016/j.cmpb.2021.106256. Epub 2021 Jun 25.


Objective: The maximum diameter measurement of an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), which depends on orthogonal and axial cross-sections or maximally inscribed spheres within the AAA, plays a significant role in the clinical decision making process. This study aims to build a total of 21 morphological parameters from longitudinal CT scans and analyze their correlations. Furthermore, this work explores the existence of a "master curve" of AAA growth, and tests which parameters serve to enhance its predictability for clinical use.

Methods: 106 CT scan images from 25 Korean AAA patients were retrospectively obtained. We subsequently computed morphological parameters, growth rates, and pair-wise correlations, and attempted to enhance the predictability of the growth for high-risk aneurysms using non-linear curve fitting and least-square minimization.

Results: An exponential AAA growth model was fitted to the maximum spherical diameter, as the best representative of the growth among all parameters (r-square: 0.94) and correctly predicted to 15 of 16 validation scans based on a 95% confidence interval. AAA volume expansion rates were highly correlated (r=0.75) with thrombus accumulation rates.

Conclusions: The exponential growth model using spherical diameter provides useful information about progression of aneurysm size and enables AAA growth rate extrapolation during a given surveillance period.

Keywords: Abdominal aortic aneurysms; aneurysm growth; clinical decision making; disease management; optimization and curve fitting.

MeSH terms

  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal* / diagnostic imaging
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thrombosis*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed