Including surrounding tissue improves ultrasound-based 3D mechanical characterization of abdominal aortic aneurysms

Niels J. Petterson (Corresponding author), Emiel M.J. van Disseldorp, Marc R.H.M. van Sambeek, Frans N. van de Vosse, Richard G.P. Lopata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Objectives: In this study the influence of surrounding tissues including the presence of the spine on wall stress analysis and mechanical characterization of abdominal aortic aneurysms using ultrasound imaging has been investigated. Methods: Geometries of 7 AAA patients and 11 healthy volunteers were acquired using 3-D ultrasound and converted to finite element based models. Model complexity of externally unsupported (aorta-only) models was complemented with inclusion of both soft tissue around the aorta and a spine support dorsal to the aorta. Computed 3-D motion of the aortic wall was verified by means of ultrasound speckle tracking. Resulting stress, strain, and estimated shear moduli were analyzed to quantify the effect of adding surrounding material supports. Results: An improved agreement was shown between the ultrasound measurements and the finite element tissue and spine models compared to the aorta-only models. Peak and 99-percentile Von Mises stress showed an overall decrease of 23–30%, while estimated shear modulus decreased with 12–20% after addition of the soft tissue. Shear strains in the aortic wall were higher in areas close to the spine compared to the anterior region. Conclusions: Improving model complexity with surrounding tissue and spine showed a homogenization of wall stresses, reduction in homogeneity of shear strain at the posterior side of the AAA, and a decrease in estimated aortic wall shear modulus. Future research will focus on the importance of a patient-specific spine geometry and location.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-133
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2019


  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • Arterial stiffness
  • Speckle tracking
  • Ultrasound
  • Wall stress


Dive into the research topics of 'Including surrounding tissue improves ultrasound-based 3D mechanical characterization of abdominal aortic aneurysms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this