Inflammation detected through the uptake of ultrasmall superparamagnetic particles of iron oxide (USPIO) on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and finite element (FE) modelling of tissue stress both hold potential in the assessment of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) rupture risk. This study aimed to examine the spatial relationship between these two biomarkers. Patients (n = 50) > 40 years with AAA maximum diameters > = 40 mm underwent USPIO-enhanced MRI and computed tomography angiogram (CTA). USPIO uptake was compared with wall stress predictions from CTA-based patient-specific FE models of each aneurysm. Elevated stress was commonly observed in areas vulnerable to rupture (e.g. posterior wall and shoulder). Only 16% of aneurysms exhibited co-localisation of elevated stress and mural USPIO enhancement. Globally, no correlation was observed between stress and other measures of USPIO uptake (i.e. mean or peak). It is suggested that cellular inflammation and stress may represent different but complimentary aspects of AAA disease progression.
- Journal Article