Evolving mechanical properties of a model of abdominal aortic aneurysm
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The novel three-dimensional (3D) mathematical model for the development of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) of Watton et al. Biomech Model Mechanobiol 3(2): 98–113, (2004) describes how changes in the micro-structure of the arterial wall lead to the development of AAA, during which collagen remodels to compensate for loss of elastin. In this paper, we examine the influence of several of the model’s material and remodelling parameters on growth rates of the AAA and compare with clinical data. Furthermore, we calculate the dynamic properties of the AAA at different stages in its development and examine the evolution of clinically measurable mechanical properties. The model predicts that the maximum diameter of the aneurysm increases exponentially and that the ratio of systolic to diastolic diameter decreases from 1.13 to 1.02 as the aneurysm develops; these predictions are consistent with physiological observations of Vardulaki et al. Br J Surg 85:1674–1680 (1998) and Lanne et al. Eur J Vasc Surg 6:178–184 (1992), respectively. We conclude that mathematical models of aneurysm growth have the potential to be useful, noninvasive diagnostic tools and thus merit further development.
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