With the increased availability of computational resources, the past decade has seen a rise in the use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) for medical applications. There has been an increase in the application of CFD to attempt to predict the rupture of intracranial aneurysms, however, while many hemodynamic parameters can be obtained from these computations, to date, no consistent methodology for the prediction of the rupture has been identified. One particular challenge to CFD is that many factors contribute to its accuracy; the mesh resolution and spatial/temporal discretization can alone contribute to a variation in accuracy. This failure to identify the importance of these factors and identify a methodology for the prediction of ruptures has limited the acceptance of CFD among physicians for rupture prediction. The International CFD Rupture Challenge 2013 seeks to comment on the sensitivity of these various CFD assumptions to predict the rupture by undertaking a comparison of the rupture and blood-flow predictions from a wide range of independent participants utilizing a range of CFD approaches. Twenty-six groups from 15 countries took part in the challenge. Participants were provided with surface models of two intracranial aneurysms and asked to carry out the corresponding hemodynamics simulations, free to choose their own mesh, solver, and temporal discretization. They were requested to submit velocity and pressure predictions along the centerline and on specified planes. The first phase of the challenge, described in a separate paper, was aimed at predicting which of the two aneurysms had previously ruptured and where the rupture site was located. The second phase, described in this paper, aims to assess the variability of the solutions and the sensitivity to the modeling assumptions. Participants were free to choose boundary conditions in the first phase, whereas they were prescribed in the second phase but all other CFD modeling parameters were not prescribed. In order to compare the computational results of one representative group with experimental results, steady-flow measurements using particle image velocimetry (PIV) were carried out in a silicone model of one of the provided aneurysms. Approximately 80% of the participating groups generated similar results. Both velocity and pressure computations were in good agreement with each other for cycle-averaged and peaksystolic predictions. Most apparent "outliers" (results that stand out of the collective) were observed to have underestimated velocity levels compared to the majority of solutions, but nevertheless identified comparable flow structures. In only two cases, the results deviate by over 35% from the mean solution of all the participants. Results of steady CFD simulations of the representative group and PIV experiments were in good agreement. The study demonstrated that while a range of numerical schemes, mesh resolution, and solvers was used, similar flow predictions were observed in the majority of cases. To further validate the computational results, it is suggested that time-dependent measurements should be conducted in the future. However, it is recognized that this study does not include the biological aspects of the aneurysm, which needs to be considered to be able to more precisely identify the specific rupture risk of an intracranial aneurysm.
- computational fluid dynamics
- intracranial aneurysm