M.L. Raghavan (Assistant Professor)
Baoshun Ma (Graduate Student)
University of Iowa
TITLE: QUANTIFYING THE GEOMETRY OF BRAIN ANEURYSMS
Brain aneurysms are abnormal dilations of brain arteries, which if left untreated will continue to grow and eventually rupture causing death or substantial trauma to the patient. When a patient presents with a brain aneurysm, it will greatly help the physician to know its risk of rupture in order to plan the timing of surgical intervention.
Currently there exists no clear rationale/basis for predicting rupture risk of brain aneurysms. Aneurysm size is thought of as the primary indicator of rupture, but clinical experience shows many small aneurysms rupture while other large aneurysms do not. We hypothesize that shape - not just size - may also play a role in risk of rupture. This rationale is based on a biomechanical perspective to the problem, wherein, the entire 3D geometry (i.e., size + shape) plays a role in the distribution of mechanical stress - internal forces - in the aneurysm wall. Our goal in this project therefore, is to study if any correlation exist between the geometry of brain aneurysms and rupture by comparing the geometry of aneurysms that did not rupture with that of aneurysms that did rupture.
First though it is necessary to quantify the geometry of brain aneurysms, so that statistical comparisons may be possible. We will discuss in this talk our initial efforts at quantifying their geometry by using surface curvature distributions and discuss our immediate and future plans.