The Association Between Geometry and Wall Stress in Emergently Repaired Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms

Sathyajeeth S. Chauhan, Carlos A. Gutierrez, Mirunalini Thirugnanasambandam, Victor De Oliveira, Satish C. Muluk, Mark K. Eskandari, Ender A. Finol*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a prevalent cardiovascular disease characterized by the focal dilation of the aorta, which supplies blood to all the organs and tissues in the systemic circulation. With the AAA increasing in diameter over time, the risk of aneurysm rupture is generally associated with the size of the aneurysm. If diagnosed on time, intervention is recommended to prevent AAA rupture. The criterion to decide on surgical intervention is determined by measuring the maximum diameter of the aneurysm relative to the critical value of 5.5 cm. However, a more reliable approach could be based on understanding the biomechanical behavior of the aneurysmal wall. In addition, geometric features that are proven to be significant predictors of the AAA wall mechanics could be used as surrogates of the AAA biomechanical behavior and, subsequently, of the aneurysm’s risk of rupture. The aim of this work is to identify those geometric indices that have a high correlation with AAA wall stress in the population of patients who received an emergent repair of their aneurysm. In-house segmentation and meshing algorithms were used to model 75 AAAs followed by estimation of the spatially distributed wall stress by performing finite element analysis. Fifty-two shape and size geometric indices were calculated for the same models using MATLAB scripting. Hypotheses testing were carried out to identify the indices significantly correlated with wall stress by constructing a Pearson’s correlation coefficient matrix. The analyses revealed that 12 indices displayed high correlation with the wall stress, amongst which wall thickness and curvature-based indices exhibited the highest correlations. Stepwise regression analysis of these correlated indices indicated that wall stress can be predicted by the following four indices with an accuracy of 76%: maximum aneurysm diameter, aneurysm sac length, average wall thickness at the maximum diameter cross-section, and the median of the wall thickness variance. The primary outcome of this work emphasizes the use of global measures of size and wall thickness as geometric surrogates of wall stress for emergently repaired AAAs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1908-1916
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017


  • Arterial biomechanics
  • Finite element modeling
  • Geometric modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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