Purpose: To evaluate whether the biomechanical marker known as rupture risk equivalent diameter (RRED) was superior to the actual abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) diameter in estimating future rupture risk in patients who had undergone pre-rupture computed tomography (CT) angiography.
Materials and Methods: A retrospective study was conducted in 13 patients with ruptured AAAs who had undergone CT angiography before and after rupture between 2001 and 2015. The median time between the 2 scans was 731 days. Biomechanical and geometrical markers such as maximal AAA diameter, peak wall stress (PWS), and RRED were calculated with AAA-dedicated software. The main analyses determined whether RRED was higher than the actual diameter and the threshold diameter for elective surgery (55 mm for men, 50 mm for women) in AAAs before and after rupture. Differences between diameter and biomechanical markers before and after rupture were tested with appropriate statistical tests.
Results: RRED before and after rupture was smaller than the actual diameter in 7 of 13 cases. Post-rupture RRED was estimated to be smaller than the threshold diameter for elective repair in 4 cases, again suggesting a low rupture risk. The median PWS before and after rupture was 181.7 kPa (interquartile range [IQR], 152.1-244.2 kPa) and 274.1 kPa (IQR, 172.2-377.2 kPa), respectively.
Conclusions: RRED was smaller than the actual diameter in more than half of pre-rupture AAAs, suggesting a lower rupture risk than estimated with the actual diameter. The results suggest that the currently available biomechanical imaging markers might not be ready for use in clinical practice.