Indexed on: 20 Mar '13Published on: 20 Mar '13Published in: Annals of Biomedical Engineering
The current clinical management of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) disease is based to a great extent on measuring the aneurysm maximum diameter to decide when timely intervention is required. Decades of clinical evidence show that aneurysm diameter is positively associated with the risk of rupture, but other parameters may also play a role in causing or predisposing the AAA to rupture. Geometric factors such as vessel tortuosity, intraluminal thrombus volume, and wall surface area are implicated in the differentiation of ruptured and unruptured AAAs. Biomechanical factors identified by means of computational modeling techniques, such as peak wall stress, have been positively correlated with rupture risk with a higher accuracy and sensitivity than maximum diameter alone. The objective of this review is to examine these factors, which are found to influence AAA disease progression, clinical management and rupture potential, as well as to highlight on-going research by our group in aneurysm modeling and rupture risk assessment.