Angioarchitectures and Hemodynamic Characteristics of Posterior Communicating Artery Aneurysms and Their Association with Rupture Status

Bong Jae Chung, Montclair State University
R. Doddasomayajula, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
F. Mut, Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN
F. Detmer, Universidad de Antioquia
M. B. Pritz, INOVA Fairfax Hospital
F. Hamzei-Sichani, George Mason University
W. Brinjikji, Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN
D. F. Kallmes, Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN
C. M. Jimenez, Universidad de Antioquia
C. M. Putman, George Mason University
Juan R. Cebral, George Mason University


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Intracranial aneurysms originating at the posterior communicating artery are known to have high rupture risk compared with other locations. We tested the hypothesis that different angioarchitectures (ie, branch point configuration) of posterior communicating artery aneurysms are associated with aneurysm hemodynamics, which in turn predisposes aneurysms to rupture. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 313 posterior communicating artery aneurysms (145 ruptured, 168 unruptured) were studied with image-based computational fluid dynamics. Aneurysms were classified into different angioarchitecture types depending on the location of the aneurysm with respect to parent artery bifurcation. Hemodynamic characteristics were compared between ruptured and unruptured aneurysms, as well as among aneurysms with different angioarchitectures. RESULTS: Angioarchitecture was associated with rupture (P =; .003). Ruptured aneurysms had higher, more concentrated, and more oscillatory wall shear stress distributions (maximum wall shear stress, P<.001; shear concentration index, P<.001; mean oscillatory shear index, P < .001), stronger and more concentrated inflow jets (represented as Q, P < .01; inflow concentration index, P < .001), and more complex and unstable flow patterns (vortex core length, P < .001; proper orthogonal decomposition entropy, P < .001) compared with unruptured aneurysms. These adverse conditions were more common in aneurysms with bifurcation-type angioarchitectures compared with those with lateral or sidewall angioarchitectures. Interestingly, ruptured aneurysms also had lower normalized mean wall shear stress (P < .02) and minimum wall shear stress (P < .002) than unruptured aneurysms. CONCLUSIONS: High-flow intrasaccular hemodynamic characteristics, commonly found in bifurcation-type angioarchitectures, are associated with the posterior communicating artery aneurysm rupture status. These characteristics include strong and concentrated inflow jets, concentrated regions of elevated wall shear stress, oscillatory wall shear stress, lower normalized wall shear stress, and complex and unstable flow patterns.