Author(s): Thubrikar MJ, alSoudi J, Robicsek F
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Abstract To estimate when an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) may rupture, it is necessary to understand the forces responsible for this event. We investigated the wall stresses in an AAA in a clinical model. Using CT scans of the AAA, the diameter and wall thickness were measured and the model of the aneurysm was created. The wall stresses were determined using a finite element analysis in which the aorta was considered isotropic with linear material properties and was loaded with a pressure of 120 mmHg. The AAA was eccentric with a length of 10.5 cm, a diameter of 2.5 to 5.9 cm, and a wall thickness of 1.0 to 2.0 mm. The aneurysm had specific areas of high stress. On the inner surface the highest stress was 0.4 N/mm2 and occurred along two circumferentially oriented belts--one at the bulb and the other just below. The stress was longitudinal at the anterior region of the bulb and circumferential elsewhere, suggesting that a rupture caused by this stress will result in a circumferential tear at the anterior portion of the bulb and a longitudinal tear elsewhere. In the mid-surface the highest stress was 0.37 N/mm2 and occurred at two locations: the posterior region of the bulb and anteriorly just below. The stress was circumferential, suggesting that the rupture caused by this stress will produce a longitudinal tear. The location and orientation of the maximum stress were influenced more by the tethering force than by the wall thickness, luminal pressure, or wall stiffness. In conclusion, the rupture of an AAA is most likely to occur on the inner surface at the bulb. Such analytical approaches could lead to a better understanding of the aneurysm rupture and may be instrumental in planning surgical interventions.
This article was published in Ann Vasc Surg
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals