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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Bioeng. Biotechnol. | doi: 10.3389/fbioe.2019.00267

Image-based 3D characterization of abdominal aortic aneurysm deformation after endovascular aneurysm repair

  • 1Vicomtech, Spain
  • 2Hospital Universitario Donostia, Spain
  • 3Pompeu Fabra University, Spain

An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a focal dilation of the abdominal aorta, that if not treated, tends to grow and may rupture. The most common treatment for AAAs is the endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR), which requires that patients undergo Computed Tomography Angiography (CTA)-based post-operative lifelong surveillance due to the possible appearance of complications. These complications may again lead to AAA dilation and rupture. However, there is a lack of advanced quantitative image-analysis tools to support the clinicians in the follow-up.

Currently, the approach is to evaluate AAA diameter changes along time to infer the progress of the patient and the post-operative risk of AAA rupture. An increased AAA diameter is usually associated with a higher rupture risk, but there are some small AAAs that rupture, whereas other larger aneurysms remain stable. This means that the diameter-based rupture risk assessment is not suitable for all the cases, and there is increasing evidence that the biomechanical behavior of the AAA may provide additional valuable information regarding the progression of the disease and the risk of rupture.

Hence, we propose a promising methodology for post-operative CTA time-series registration and subsequent aneurysm bio-mechanical strain analysis. From these strains, quantitative image-based descriptors are extracted using a principal component analysis of the traction and compression fields. Evaluated on 22 patients, our approach yields a mean AUC of 88.6 % when correlating the strain-based quantitative descriptors with the long-term patient prognosis. This suggests that the strain information directly extracted from the CTA images is able to capture the bio-mechanical behavior of the aneurysm without relying on finite element modeling and simulation. Furthermore, the extracted descriptors set the basis for possible future imaging biomarkers that may be used in clinical practice. Apart from the diameter, these biomarkers may be used to assess patient prognosis and to enable informed decision making after an EVAR intervention, especially in difficult uncertain cases.

Keywords: Strain analysis, Bio-mechanics, deformation, prognosis, follow-up, computed tomography angiography, biomarker, Abdominal aortic aneursym

Received: 10 Jul 2019; Accepted: 27 Sep 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 López-Linares, García, García, Cortes Acosta, Piella, Macía, Noailly and Gonzalez Ballester. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: PhD. Karen López-Linares, Vicomtech, San Sebastian, Spain, klopez@vicomtech.org