BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Aneurysm growth has been related to higher rupture risk. A better understanding of the characteristics related to growth may assist in the treatment decisions of unruptured intracranial aneurysms. This study aimed to identify morphologic and hemodynamic characteristics associated with aneurysm growth and to determine whether these characteristics deviate further from those of stable aneurysms after growth.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We included 81 stable and 56 growing aneurysms. 3D vascular models were segmented on CTA, MRA, or 3D rotational angiographic images. With these models, we performed computational fluid dynamics simulations. Morphologic (size, size ratios, and shape) and hemodynamic (inflow, vorticity, shear stress, oscillatory shear index, flow instability) characteristics were automatically calculated. We compared the characteristics between aneurysms that were stable and those that had grown at baseline and final imaging. The significance level after Bonferroni correction was P<.002.
RESULTS: At baseline, no significant differences between aneurysms that were stable and those that had grown were detected (P >.002). Significant differences between aneurysms that were stable and those that had grown were seen at the final imaging for shear rate, aneurysm velocity, vorticity, and mean wall shear stress (P<.002). The latter was 11.5 (interquartile range, 5.4-18.8 dyne/cm2) compared with 17.5 (interquartile range, 11.2-29.9 dyne/cm2) in stable aneurysms (P =.001). Additionally, a trend toward lower area weighted average Gaussian curvature in aneurysms that had grown was observed with a median of 6.0 (interquartile range, 3.2-10.7 cm-2) compared with 10.4 (interquartile range, 5.0-21.2 cm-2) in stable aneurysms (P =.004).
CONCLUSIONS: Morphologic and hemodynamic characteristics at baseline were not associated with aneurysm growth in our population. After growth, almost all indices increase toward values associated with higher rupture risks. Therefore, we stress the importance of longitudinal imaging and repeat risk assessment in unruptured aneurysms.