Geometric Modeling of Thoracic Aortic Surface Morphology - Implications for Pathophysiology and Clinical Interventions

Sammanfattning: Vascular disease risk factors such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia and old age are all results of modern-day lifestyle, and these diseases are getting more and more common. One treatment option for vascular diseases such as aneurysms and dissections is endovascular aortic repair introduced in the early 1990s. This treatment uses tubular fabric covered metallic structures (endografts) that are implanted using a minimally invasive approach and placed to serve as an articial vessel in a damaged portion of the vasculature. To ensure that the interventions are successful, the endograft must be placed in the correct location, and designed to sustain the hostile biological, chemical, and mechanical conditions in the body for many years. This is an interaction that goes both ways, and keeping in mind that the endograft is a foreign object placed in the sensitive vascular system, it is also important that it does not disrupt the native conditions more than necessary. This thesis presents a segmentation and quantication methodology to accurately describe the complex morphology and motion of diseased blood vessels in vivo through a natural and intuitive description of their luminal surfaces. After methodology validation, a series of important clinical applications are performed, all based on non-invasive imaging. Firstly, it is shown that explicit surface curvature quantication is necessary when compared to relying solely on centerline curvature and estimation methods. Secondly, it is shown that endograft malapposition severity can be predicted from preoperative geometric analysis of thoracic aortic surfaces. Thirdly, a multiaxial dynamics analysis of cardiac induced thoracic aortic surface motion shows how thoracic endovascular aortic repair affects the deformations of the dierent portions of the thoracic aorta. Fourthly, the helical propagation pattern of type B aortic dissection is determined, and two distinct modes of chirality are revealed, i.e., achiral and right-handed chiral groups. Finally, the effects of thoracic endovascular aortic repair on helical and cross-sectional morphology of type B dissections are investigated revealing how acuity and chirality affects the alteration due to intraluminal lining with endografts. Thus, the work presented in this thesis contributes by adding knowledge about pathology and pathophysiology through better geometric description of surface conditions of diseased thoracic aortas. This gives clinicians insights to use in their treatment planning and provides more nuanced boundary conditions for endograft manufacturers. Comprehensive knowledge about diseases, better treatment planning, and better devices are all crucial in order to improve the outcomes of performed interventions and ultimately the quality of life for the treated patients.