Three-dimensional hemodynamics in intracranial aneurysms: Influence of size and morphology

Susanne Schnell, Sameer A. Ansari, Parmede Vakil, Marie Wasielewski, Maria L. Carr, Michael C. Hurley, Bernard R. Bendok, Hunt Batjer, Timothy J. Carroll, James Carr, Michael Markl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Purpose To use four-dimensional (4D)-flow MRI for the comprehensive in vivo analysis of hemodynamics and its relationship to size and morphology of different intracranial aneurysms (IA). We hypothesize that different IA groups, defined by size and morphology, exhibit different velocity fields, wall shear stress, and vorticity. Materials and Methods The 4D-flow MRI (spatial resolution = 0.99-1.8 × 0.78-1.46 × 1.2-1.4 mm3, temporal resolution = 44-48 ms) was performed in 19 IAs (18 patients, age = 55.4 ± 13.8 years) with saccular (n = 16) and fusiform (n = 3) morphology and different sizes ranging from small (n = 8; largest dimension = 6.2 ± 0.4 mm) to large and giant (n = 11; 25 ± 7 mm). Analysis included quantification of volumetric spatial-temporal velocity distribution, vorticity, and wall shear stress (WSS) along the aneurysm's 3D surface. Results The 4D-flow MRI revealed distinct hemodynamic patterns for large/giant saccular aneurysms (Group 1), small saccular aneurysms (Group 2), and large/giant fusiform aneurysms (Group 3). Saccular IA (Groups 1, 2) demonstrated significantly higher peak velocities (P < 0.002) and WSS (P < 0.001) compared with fusiform aneurysms. Although intra-aneurysmal 3D velocity distributions were similar for Group 1 and 2, vorticity and WSS was significantly (P < 0.001) different (increased in Group 1 by 54%) indicating a relationship between IA size and hemodynamics. Group 3 showed reduced velocities (P < 0.001) and WSS (P < 0.001). Conclusion The 4D-flow MRI demonstrated the influence of lesion size and morphology on aneurysm hemodynamics suggesting the potential of 4D-flow MRI to assist in the classification of individual aneurysms. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2014;39:120-131. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-131
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • 4D-flow MRI
  • WSS
  • hemodynamics
  • intracranial aneurysms
  • velocity
  • vorticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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