Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing

, Volume 53, Issue 4, pp 299–308 | Cite as

The influence of intraluminal thrombus on noninvasive abdominal aortic aneurysm wall distensibility measurement

  • Eleni Metaxa
  • Nikolaos Kontopodis
  • Vasileios Vavourakis
  • Konstantinos Tzirakis
  • Christos V. Ioannou
  • Yannis Papaharilaou
Original Article


Abdominal aortic aneurysm wall distensibility can be estimated by measuring pulse pressure and the corresponding sac volume change, which can be obtained by measuring wall displacement. This approach, however, may introduce error if the role of thrombus in assisting the wall in bearing the pulse pressure loading is neglected. Our aim was to introduce a methodology for evaluating and potentially correcting this error in estimating distensibility. Electrocardiogram-gated computed tomography images of eleven patients were obtained, and the volume change between diastole and systole was measured. Using finite element procedures, we determined the equivalent pulse pressure loading that should be applied to the wall of a model where thrombus was digitally removed, to yield the same sac volumetric increase caused by applying the luminal pulse pressure to the model with thrombus. The equivalent instead of the measured pulse pressure was used in the distensibility expression. For a relative volumetric thrombus deposition (VILT) of 50 %, a 62 % distensibility underestimation resulted when thrombus role was neglected. A strong linear correlation was observed between distensibility underestimation and VILT. To assess the potential value of noninvasive wall distensibility measurement in rupture risk stratification, the role of thrombus on wall loading should be further investigated.


Arterial stiffness Vascular biomechanics 4D CT Rupture risk Young’s modulus 


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Copyright information

© International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eleni Metaxa
    • 1
  • Nikolaos Kontopodis
    • 2
  • Vasileios Vavourakis
    • 3
  • Konstantinos Tzirakis
    • 1
  • Christos V. Ioannou
    • 2
  • Yannis Papaharilaou
    • 1
  1. 1.Foundation for Research and Technology–HellasInstitute of Applied and Computational MathematicsHeraklionGreece
  2. 2.Department of Vascular Surgery, Medical SchoolUniversity of CreteHeraklionGreece
  3. 3.Centre for Medical Image ComputingUniversity College LondonLondonUK

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