Regional variation of wall shear stress in ascending thoracic aortic aneurysms

Antonino Rinaudo, Salvatore Pasta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The development of an ascending thoracic aortic aneurysm is likely caused by excessive hemodynamic loads exerted on the aneurysmal wall. Computational fluid-dynamic analyses were performed on patient-specific ascending thoracic aortic aneurysms obtained from patients with either bicuspid aortic valve or tricuspid aortic valve to evaluate hemodynamic and wall shear parameters, imparting aneurysm enlargement. Results showed an accelerated flow along the outer aortic wall with helical flow in the aneurysm center for bicuspid aortic valve ascending thoracic aortic aneurysms. In a different way, tricuspid aortic valve ascending thoracic aortic aneurysms exhibited normal systolic flow without substantial secondary pattern. Analysis of wall shear parameters evinced a high and locally varying wall shear stress on the outer aortic wall and high temporal oscillations in wall shear stress (oscillatory shear index) on either left or right side of aneurismal aorta. These findings may explain the asymmetric dilatation typically observed in ascending thoracic aortic aneurysms. Simulations of a hypertensive scenario revealed an increase in wall shear stress upon 44% compared to normal systemic pressure models. Computational fluid-dynamics'based analysis may allow identification of wall shear parameters portending aneurysm dilatation and hence guide preventative intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-638
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Ascending thoracic aortic aneurysm
  • Bicuspid aortic valve
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Hypertension
  • Wall shear stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Medicine(all)


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