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Original research
Hemodynamic characteristics of large unruptured internal carotid artery aneurysms prior to rupture: a case control study


Objective Post-ruptured intracranial aneurysm geometry models have been widely used in computational fluid dynamic studies to assess hemodynamic parameters associated with aneurysm rupture. However, their results may not be valid due to the morphological changes of the aneurysm after rupture. Our aim was to identify the hemodynamic features of aneurysms prior to rupture in comparison with unruptured aneurysms.

Materials and methods We retrospectively identified three large unruptured internal carotid artery (ICA) aneurysms (pre-ruptured group) with adequate image quality just before rupture. Matched with the same location and similar size, eight unruptured aneurysms (unruptured group) were selected as controls during the same time period. Flow simulations for these aneurysms were performed to compare differences in hemodynamics.

Results Compared with unruptured aneurysms, pre-ruptured aneurysms had a significantly more irregular aneurysm shape, a higher aspect ratio, and lower aneurysm averaged wall shear stress (WSS) (p=0.024, p=0.048, and p=0.048, respectively). Although pre-ruptured aneurysms had a lower low WSS area and higher Oscillatory Shear Index, these were not statistically significant.

Conclusions For large unruptured ICA aneurysms, low WSS, higher aspect ratio, and irregular shape were indicators of fatal rupture. Early treatment for such lesions with flow diverter and coils may be the best therapeutic option.

  • Aneurysm
  • Blood Flow
  • Hemorrhage

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