Feasibility of wall stress analysis of abdominal aortic aneurysms using three-dimensional ultrasound

Annette M. Kok, V. Lai Nguyen, Lambert Speelman, Peter J. Brands, Geert-Willem H. Schurink, Frans N. van de Vosse, Richard G. P. Lopata*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) are local dilations that can lead to a fatal hemorrhage when ruptured. Wall stress analysis of AAAs is a novel tool that has proven high potential to improve risk stratification. Currently, wall stress analysis of AAAs is based on computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging; however, three-dimensional (3D) ultrasound (US) has great advantages over CT and magnetic resonance imaging in terms of costs, speed, and lack of radiation. In this study, the feasibility of 3D US as input for wall stress analysis is investigated. Second, 3D US-based wall stress analysis was compared with CT-based results. Methods: The 3D US and CT data were acquired in 12 patients (diameter, 35-90 mm). US data were segmented manually and compared with automatically acquired CT geometries by calculating the similarity index and Hausdorff distance. Wall stresses were simulated at P = 140 mm Hg and compared between both modalities. Results: The similarity index of US vs CT was 0.75 to 0.91 (n = 12), with a median Hausdorff distance ranging from 4.8 to 13.9 mm, with the higher values found at the proximal and distal sides of the AAA. Wall stresses were in accordance with literature, and a good agreement was found between US- and CT-based median stresses and interquartile stresses, which was confirmed by Bland-Altman and regression analysis (n = 8). Wall stresses based on US were typically higher (+23%), caused by geometric irregularities due to the registration of several 3D volumes and manual segmentation. In future work, an automated US registration and segmentation approach is the essential point of improvement before pursuing large-scale patient studies. Conclusions: This study is a first step toward US-based wall stress analysis, which would be the modality of choice to monitor wall stress development over time because no ionizing radiation and contrast material are involved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1175-1184
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2015


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