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Tomoaki Suzuki, Christopher J. Stapleton, Matthew J. Koch, Kazutoshi Tanaka, Soichiro Fujimura, Takashi Suzuki, Takeshi Yanagisawa, Makoto Yamamoto, Yukihiko Fujii, Yuichi Murayama and Aman B. Patel

OBJECTIVE

Degenerative cerebral aneurysm walls are associated with aneurysm rupture and subarachnoid hemorrhage. Thin-walled regions (TWRs) represent fragile areas that may eventually lead to aneurysm rupture. Previous computational fluid dynamics (CFD) studies reported the correlation of maximum pressure (Pmax) areas and TWRs; however, the correlation with aneurysm rupture has not been established. This study aims to investigate this hemodynamic correlation.

METHODS

The aneurysmal wall surface at the Pmax areas was intraoperatively evaluated using a fluid flow formula under pulsatile blood flow conditions in 23 patients with 23 saccular middle cerebral artery (MCA) bifurcation aneurysms (16 unruptured and 7 ruptured). The pressure difference (Pd) at the Pmax areas was calculated by subtracting the average pressure (Pave) from the Pmax and normalized by dividing this by the dynamic pressure at the aneurysm inlet side. The wall shear stress (WSS) was also calculated at the Pmax areas, aneurysm dome, and parent artery. These hemodynamic parameters were used to validate the correlation with TWRs in unruptured MCA aneurysms. The characteristic hemodynamic parameters at the rupture points in ruptured MCA aneurysms were then determined.

RESULTS

In 13 of 16 unruptured aneurysms (81.2%), Pmax areas were identified that corresponded to TWRs. In 5 of the 7 ruptured cerebral aneurysms, the Pmax areas coincided with the rupture point. At these areas, the Pd values were not higher than those of the TWRs in unruptured cerebral aneurysms; however, minimum WSS, time-averaged WSS, and normalized WSS at the rupture point were significantly lower than those of the TWRs in unruptured aneurysms (p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

At the Pmax area of TWRs, decreased WSS appears to be the crucial hemodynamic parameter that indicates the risk of aneurysm rupture.

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Yuichi Murayama, Soichiro Fujimura, Tomoaki Suzuki and Hiroyuki Takao

OBJECTIVE

The authors reviewed the clinical role of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) in assessing the risk of intracranial aneurysm rupture.

METHODS

A literature review was performed to identify reports on CFD assessment of aneurysms using PubMed. The usefulness of various hemodynamic parameters, such as wall shear stress (WSS) and the Oscillatory Shear Index (OSI), and their role in aneurysm rupture risk analysis, were analyzed.

RESULTS

The authors identified a total of 258 published articles evaluating rupture risk, growth, and endovascular device assessment. Of these 258 articles, 113 matching for CFD and hemodynamic parameters that contribute to the risk of rupture (such as WSS and OSI) were identified. However, due to a lack of standardized methodology, controversy remains on each parameter’s role.

CONCLUSIONS

Although controversy continues to exist on which risk factors contribute to predict aneurysm rupture, CFD can provide additional parameters to assess this rupture risk. This technology can contribute to clinical decision-making or evaluation of efficacy for endovascular methods and devices.