Hemodynamic changes in intracranial aneurysms after stent placement include the appearance of areas with stagnant flow and low shear rates. We investigated the influence of stent placement on blood flow velocity and wall shear stress of an intracranial aneurysm using a finite element modeling approach. To assess viscosity changes induced by stent placement, the rheology of blood as non-Newtonian fluid was taken into account in this model. A two-dimensional model with a parent artery, a smaller branching artery, and an aneurysm located at the bifurcation, before and after stent placement, was used for simulation. Flow velocity plots and wall shear stress before and after stent placement was calculated over the entire cardiac circle. Values for dynamic viscosity were calculated with a constitutive equation that was based on experimental studies and yielded a viscosity, which decreases as the shear rate increases. Stent placement lowered peak velocities in the main vortex of the aneurysm by a factor of at least 4 compared to peak velocities in the main artery, and it considerably decreased the wall shear stress of the aneurysm. Dynamic viscosity increases after stent placement persisted over a major part of the cardiac cycle, with a factor of up to 10, most pronounced near the dome of the aneurysm. Finite element modeling can offer insight into rheological changes induced by stent treatment of aneurysms and allows visualizing dynamic viscosity changes induced by stent placement.
- Finite element method
- Intracranial aneurysm