Hemodynamic Study of a Patient-Specific Intracranial Aneurysm: Comparative Assessment of Tomographic PIV, Stereoscopic PIV, In Vivo MRI and Computational Fluid Dynamics

Xiaolin Wu, Stefanie Gürzing, Christiaan Schinkel, Merel Toussaint, Romana Perinajová, Pim van Ooij, Saša Kenjereš

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Introduction: Wall shear stress (WSS) is associated with the growth and rupture of an intracranial aneurysm. To reveal their underlying connections, many image-based computational fluid dynamics (CFD) studies have been conducted. However, the methodological validations using both in vivo medical imaging and in vitro optical flow measurements were rarely accompanied in such studies. Methods: In the present study, we performed a comparative assessment on the hemodynamics of a patient-specific intracranial saccular aneurysm using in vivo 4D Flow MRI, in silico CFD, in vitro stereoscopic and tomographic particle imaging velocimetry (Stereo-PIV and Tomo-PIV) techniques. PIV experiments and CFD were conducted under steady state corresponding to the peak systole of 4D Flow MRI. Results: The results showed that all modalities provided similar flow features and overall surface distribution of WSS. However, a large variation in the absolute WSS values was found. 4D Flow MRI estimated a 2- to 4-fold lower peak WSS (3.99 Pa) and a 1.6- to 2-fold lower mean WSS (0.94 Pa) than Tomo-PIV, Stereo-PIV, and CFD. Bland-Altman plots of WSS showed that the differences between PIV-/CFD-based WSS and 4D Flow MRI-based WSS increase with higher WSS magnitude. Such proportional trend was absent in the Bland-Altman comparison of velocity where the resolutions of PIV and CFD datasets were matched to 4D Flow MRI. We also found that because of superior resolution in the out-of-plane direction, WSS estimation by Tomo-PIV was higher than Stereo-PIV. Conclusions: Our results indicated that the differences in spatial resolution could be the main contributor to the discrepancies between each modality. The findings of this study suggest that with current techniques, care should be taken when using absolute WSS values to perform a quantitative risk analysis of aneurysm rupture.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCardiovascular engineering and technology
Early online date2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021


  • 4D Flow MRI
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Hemodynamics
  • Intracranial aneurysm
  • Particle image velocimetry
  • Wall shear stress

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