Influence of aortic aneurysm on the local distribution of NO and O2 using image-based computational fluid dynamics

Romana Perinajová*, Concepción Borrás Álvarez-Cuevas, Joe Juffermans, Jos Westenberg, Hildo Lamb, Saša Kenjereš

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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There is a pressing need to establish novel biomarkers to predict the progression of thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA) dilatation. Aside from hemodynamics, the roles of oxygen (O2) and nitric oxide (NO) in TAA pathogenesis are potentially significant. As such, it is imperative to comprehend the relationship between aneurysm presence and species distribution in both the lumen and aortic wall. Given the limitations of existing imaging methods, we propose the use of patient-specific computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to explore this relationship. We have performed CFD simulations of O2 and NO mass transfer in the lumen and aortic wall for two cases: a healthy control (HC) and a patient with TAA, both acquired using 4D-flow magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The mass transfer of O2 was based on active transport by hemoglobin, while the local variations of the wall shear stress (WSS) drove NO production. Comparing hemodynamic properties, the time-averaged WSS was considerably lower for TAA, while the oscillatory shear index and endothelial cell activation potential were notably elevated. O2 and NO showed a non-uniform distribution within the lumen and an inverse correlation between the two species. We identified several locations of hypoxic regions for both cases due to lumen-side mass transfer limitations. In the wall, NO varied spatially, with a clear distinction between TAA and HC. In conclusion, the hemodynamics and mass transfer of NO in the aorta exhibit the potential to serve as a diagnostic biomarker for TAA. Furthermore, hypoxia may provide additional insights into the onset of other aortic pathologies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106925
Number of pages12
JournalComputers in Biology and Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • 4D-flow MRI
  • Biomarkers
  • CFD
  • Nitric oxide
  • Oxygen
  • TAA


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