Patient-specific wall stress analysis in cerebral aneurysms using inverse shell model

Xianlian Zhou, Madhavan L. Raghavan, Robert E. Harbaugh, Jia Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Stress analyses of patient-specific vascular structures commonly assume that the reconstructed in vivo configuration is stress free although it is in a pre-deformed state. We submit that this assumption can be obviated using an inverse approach, thus increasing accuracy of stress estimates. In this paper, we introduce an inverse approach of stress analysis for cerebral aneurysms modeled as nonlinear thin shell structures, and demonstrate the method using a patient-specific aneurysm. A lesion surface derived from medical images, which corresponds to the deformed configuration under the arterial pressure, is taken as the input. The wall stress in the given deformed configuration, together with the unstressed initial configuration, are predicted by solving the equilibrium equations as opposed to traditional approach where the deformed geometry is assumed stress free. This inverse approach also possesses a unique advantage, that is, for some lesions it enables us to predict the wall stress without accurate knowledge of the wall elastic property. In this study, we also investigate the sensitivity of the wall stress to material parameters. It is found that the in-plane component of the wall stress is indeed insensitive to the material model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)478-489
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering


  • Cerebral aneurysms
  • Inverse elastostatics
  • Inverse shell analysis
  • Patient-specific analysis
  • Wall stress


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