Computational fluid dynamic analysis of intracranial aneurysmal bleb formation

Russell, Jeremy Hamilton, Kelson, Neil A., Barry, Mark D., Pearcy, Mark J., Fletcher, David F., & Winter, Craig D. (2013) Computational fluid dynamic analysis of intracranial aneurysmal bleb formation. Neurosurgery, 73(6), pp. 1061-1069.

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The management of unruptured aneurysms is controversial with the decision to treat influenced by aneurysm characteristics including size and morphology. Aneurysmal bleb formation is thought to be associated with an increased risk of rupture.


To correlate computational fluid dynamic (CFD) indices with bleb formation.


Anatomical models were constructed from three-dimensional rotational angiogram (3DRA) data in 27 patients with cerebral aneurysms harbouring single blebs. Additional models representing the aneurysm before bleb formation were constructed by digitally removing the bleb. We characterised haemodynamic features of models both with and without the bleb using CFDs. Flow structure, wall shear stress (WSS), pressure and oscillatory shear index (OSI) were analysed.


There was a statistically significant association between bleb location at or adjacent to the point of maximal WSS (74.1%, p=0.019), irrespective of rupture status. Aneurysmal blebs were related to the inflow or outflow jet in 88.9% of cases (p<0.001) whilst 11.1% were unrelated. Maximal wall pressure and OSI were not significantly related to bleb location. The bleb region attained a lower WSS following its formation in 96.3% of cases (p<0.001) and was also lower than the average aneurysm WSS in 86% of cases (p<0.001).


Cerebral aneurysm blebs generally form at or adjacent to the point of maximal WSS and are aligned with major flow structures. Wall pressure and OSI do not contribute to determining bleb location. The measurement of WSS using CFD models may potentially predict bleb formation and thus improve the assessment of rupture risk in unruptured aneurysms.

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4 citations in Scopus
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5 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 65239
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Bleb, computational fluid dynamics, hemodynamics, intracranial aneurysm, oscillatory shear index, wall shear stress
DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0000000000000137
ISSN: 0148-396X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES (010000) > NUMERICAL AND COMPUTATIONAL MATHEMATICS (010300)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING (090300)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > CARDIOVASCULAR MEDICINE AND HAEMATOLOGY (110200)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Division of Technology, Information and Learning Support
Current > Research Centres > High Performance Computing and Research Support
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Congress of Neurological Surgeons
Deposited On: 10 Dec 2013 23:15
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2016 00:29

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