This paper presents the results of the Virtual Intracranial Stenting Challenge (VISC) 2007, an international initiative whose aim was to establish the reproducibility of state-of-the-art haemodynamical simulation techniques in subject-specific stented models of intracranial aneurysms (IAs). IAs are pathological dilatations of the cerebral artery walls, which are associated with high mortality and morbidity rates due to subarachnoid haemorrhage following rupture. The deployment of a stent as flow diverter has recently been indicated as a promising treatment option, which has the potential to protect the aneurysm by reducing the action of haemodynamical forces and facilitating aneurysm thrombosis. The direct assessment of changes in aneurysm haemodynamics after stent deployment is hampered by limitations in existing imaging techniques and currently requires resorting to numerical simulations. Numerical simulations also have the potential to assist in the personalized selection of an optimal stent design prior to intervention. However, from the current literature it is difficult to assess the level of technological advancement and the reproducibility of haemodynamical predictions in stented patient-specific models. The VISC 2007 initiative engaged in the development of a multicentre-controlled benchmark to analyse differences induced by diverse grid generation and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) technologies. The challenge also represented an opportunity to provide a survey of available technologies currently adopted by international teams from both academic and industrial institutions for constructing computational models of stented aneurysms. The results demonstrate the ability of current strategies in consistently quantifying the performance of three commercial intracranial stents, and contribute to reinforce the confidence in haemodynamical simulation, thus taking a step forward towards the introduction of simulation tools to support diagnostics and interventional planning.
- Computational fluid dynamics