Association between aneurysm shoulder stress and abdominal aortic aneurysm expansion: A longitudinal follow-up study

Li, Z.Y., Sadat, U., U-King-Im, J., Tang, T. Y., Bowden, D. J., Hayes, P. D., & Gillard, J. H. (2010) Association between aneurysm shoulder stress and abdominal aortic aneurysm expansion: A longitudinal follow-up study. Circulation, 122(18), pp. 1815-1822.

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Aneurysm expansion rate is an important indicator of the potential risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) rupture. Stress within the AAA wall is also thought to be a trigger for its rupture. However, the association between aneurysm wall stresses and expansion of AAA is unclear.

Methods and Results

Forty-four patients with AAAs were included in this longitudinal follow-up study. They were assessed by serial abdominal ultrasonography and computed tomography scans if a critical size was reached or a rapid expansion occurred. Patient-specific 3-dimensional AAA geometries were reconstructed from the follow-up computed tomography images. Structural analysis was performed to calculate the wall stresses of the AAA models at both baseline and final visit. A nonlinear large-strain finite element method was used to compute the wall-stress distribution. The relationship between wall stresses and expansion rate was investigated. Slowly and rapidly expanding aneurysms had comparable baseline maximum diameters (median, 4.35 cm [interquartile range, 4.12 to 5.0 cm] versus 4.6 cm [interquartile range, 4.2 to 5.0 cm]; P=0.32). Rapidly expanding AAAs had significantly higher shoulder stresses than slowly expanding AAAs (median, 300 kPa [interquartile range, 280 to 320 kPa] versus 225 kPa [interquartile range, 211 to 249 kPa]; P=0.0001). A good correlation between shoulder stress at baseline and expansion rate was found (r=0.71; P=0.0001).


A higher shoulder stress was found to have an association with a rapidly expanding AAA. Therefore, it may be useful for estimating the expansion of AAAs and improve risk stratification of patients with AAAs.

Impact and interest:

58 citations in Scopus
49 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 90323
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: aneurysm, aorta, mechanics, tomography
DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.110.939819
ISSN: 1524-4539
Divisions: Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 American Heart Association
Deposited On: 16 Nov 2015 02:17
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2017 08:01

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