Author(s): Inzoli F, Boschetti F, Zappa M, Longo T, Fumero R
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Hitherto the size of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) has been considered the most important factor in determining the risk of rupture. For this reason most interest has been devoted to physical, echographic and tomographic analyses of the shape of AAA. However, it is known that rupture can also occur in small AAA. Other factors must be considered to have an important role in the natural history of aneurysms. The aim of this study was to characterise the mechanical stress in the wall of an AAA due to pressure in the presence of atherosclerosis, intraluminal thrombus and anatomical restraints. The Finite Elements Method (FEM) was used to determine wall stress distribution. Due to the simplicity of the AAA structure an axisymmetric model has been built. The results of the structural analysis confirms that maximum stress increases with diameter. These effects may be reduced by the presence of intraluminal thrombus, which in the models reduces maximum stress by up to 30\%; however this is not the case for dissecting thrombus. On the other hand atherosclerotic plaques cause stress concentration and a significant increase in maximum wall stress. The risk of rupture can increase by about 200\%. Finally the investigation shows the FEM is a versatile tool for studying the mechanics of vascular structures. It enables the influence of various parameters on wall stress to be quantified in diagnostic settings, and so could be useful for predicting the rupture of AAA, although at present such predictions are limited by data leakage and by the approximations used in the model.
This article was published in Eur J Vasc Surg
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals