Objectives: Stent implantation across the neck of cerebral aneurysms may induce intra-aneurysmal flow reduction, and consequently saccular thrombosis and vessel wall repair. To analyse the influence of different stent parameters on such flow reduction, we studied the flow changes in vascular models, induced by a series of stents. Methods: Two different neck-sized elastic sidewall aneurysm models were connected to a circulatory loop. Twenty different stents were introduced in both models to analyse the effect of their parameters, such as porosity, filament diameter and permeability. Flow patterns were visualized by using glass particles and laser sheet translumination. The digitally recorded data were transferred for computer analysis. The changes of the vortex velocity for each stent model combination were investigated and statistically evaluated. Results: Intra-aneurysmal flow analysis showed dispersion of the vortices of a variable degree, and velocity reduction of 30% mean in model 1 and 49% mean in model 2. By statistical analysis three groups of stents ('best', 'medium', 'worst') were identified, according to their haemodynamic efficacy. No correlations were observed between the haemodynamic performance of the stents and the porosity, filament diameter and permeability values separately. The stent effects were on average more important in the large-necked than in the small-necked aneurysm model. Discussion: Stent implantation induces intra-aneurysmal loss of vortex coherence and flow reduction. The analysed stent parameters show complex interrelationship, including also stent 'design'. The difference in the haemodynamic efficacy of the individual stents between the two models raises the question of 'stent positioning effects'.
- In vitro