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Interv Neuroradiol. 2004 Dec 24;10 Suppl 2:85-94. Epub 2008 May 15.

Impact of stent design on intra-aneurysmal flow. A computer simulation study.

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Section of Neuroradiology, Department of Radiology, Geneva University Hospital, Geneva; Switzerland.


In addition to providing a skeleton for vessel reconstruction, stent implantation as used for cerebral aneurysm treatment can induce flow redirection, thus reducing vortical flow velocities within the aneurysm cavity. Further, stent characteristics such as strut size, porosity and cell shape influence the changes in intra-aneurysmal flow by analog simulations. The purpose of this computer simulation study was to visualize the flow pattern over the entire neck area of a side wall aneurysm while changing the stent parameters. A 3-D computer model aneurysm was constructed to have a parent artery of 5 mm diameter and an aneurysm of 10 mm diameter. The distance between the midline of main artery and center point of the aneurysm was 6.8 mm, providing a neck length of 5 mm, a width of 3.6 mm, and a neck area of 14 mm 2. The simulations were carried out with a Finite Element Method based flow simulation package. The incompressible Navier-Stokes equation was solved for a steady flow with a mean speed of 290 mm/s, steady viscosity of 3.83 cp, and density of 1.0 g/cm3. Two parallel stent struts (dimensions: 100 mum m 100 mum m 2.0 mm) were introduced into the plane of the aneurysm neck. The fraction of the aneurysm neck cross-section occupied by the stent was 2.83% in all cases. The velocity distribution through the neck of the aneurysm was calculated for three different choices of separation between the struts for each of two orientations of the struts (parallel and perpendicular) relative to the vessel axis. The flow pattern in the aneurysm was composed of an inflow zone at the distal neck and of an outflow zone at the proximal neck. The placement of stent struts at the aneurysm neck resulted in a decrease in the mean speed in the aneurysm. The degree of reduction and the distribution of flow through the neck did depend on the orientation of the stent struts. The struts, when placed parallel or perpendicular to the parent vessel axis affected the mean speed through the aneurysm neck differently.

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