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Ann Biomed Eng. 2010 Apr;38(4):1288-313. doi: 10.1007/s10439-010-9949-x. Epub 2010 Feb 9.

Quantification of hemodynamics in abdominal aortic aneurysms during rest and exercise using magnetic resonance imaging and computational fluid dynamics.

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Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.


Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) affect 5-7% of older Americans. We hypothesize that exercise may slow AAA growth by decreasing inflammatory burden, peripheral resistance, and adverse hemodynamic conditions such as low, oscillatory shear stress. In this study, we use magnetic resonance imaging and computational fluid dynamics to describe hemodynamics in eight AAAs during rest and exercise using patient-specific geometric models, flow waveforms, and pressures as well as appropriately resolved finite-element meshes. We report mean wall shear stress (MWSS) and oscillatory shear index (OSI) at four aortic locations (supraceliac, infrarenal, mid-aneurysm, and suprabifurcation) and turbulent kinetic energy over the entire computational domain on meshes containing more than an order of magnitude more elements than previously reported results (mean: 9.0-million elements; SD: 2.3 M; range: 5.7-12.0 M). MWSS was lowest in the aneurysm during rest 2.5 dyn/cm(2) (SD: 2.1; range: 0.9-6.5), and MWSS increased and OSI decreased at all four locations during exercise. Mild turbulence existed at rest, while moderate aneurysmal turbulence was present during exercise. During both rest and exercise, aortic turbulence was virtually zero superior to the AAA for seven out of eight patients. We postulate that the increased MWSS, decreased OSI, and moderate turbulence present during exercise may attenuate AAA growth.

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