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Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling of Symptomatic Intracranial Atherosclerosis May Predict Risk of Stroke Recurrence



Patients with symptomatic intracranial atherosclerosis (ICAS) of ≥ 70% luminal stenosis are at high risk of stroke recurrence. We aimed to evaluate the relationships between hemodynamics of ICAS revealed by computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models and risk of stroke recurrence in this patient subset.


Patients with a symptomatic ICAS lesion of 70-99% luminal stenosis were screened and enrolled in this study. CFD models were reconstructed based on baseline computed tomographic angiography (CTA) source images, to reveal hemodynamics of the qualifying symptomatic ICAS lesions. Change of pressures across a lesion was represented by the ratio of post- and pre-stenotic pressures. Change of shear strain rates (SSR) across a lesion was represented by the ratio of SSRs at the stenotic throat and proximal normal vessel segment, similar for the change of flow velocities. Patients were followed up for 1 year.


Overall, 32 patients (median age 65; 59.4% males) were recruited. The median pressure, SSR and velocity ratios for the ICAS lesions were 0.40 (-2.46-0.79), 4.5 (2.2-20.6), and 7.4 (5.2-12.5), respectively. SSR ratio (hazard ratio [HR] 1.027; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.004-1.051; P = 0.023) and velocity ratio (HR 1.029; 95% CI, 1.002-1.056; P = 0.035) were significantly related to recurrent territorial ischemic stroke within 1 year by univariate Cox regression, respectively with the c-statistics of 0.776 (95% CI, 0.594-0.903; P = 0.014) and 0.776 (95% CI, 0.594-0.903; P = 0.002) in receiver operating characteristic analysis.


Hemodynamics of ICAS on CFD models reconstructed from routinely obtained CTA images may predict subsequent stroke recurrence in patients with a symptomatic ICAS lesion of 70-99% luminal stenosis.

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