Pulsatile flow patterns in an intracranial side-wall aneurysm of a human carotid artery were investigated experimentally using microscopic particle image velocimetry on a flexible wall model. Numerical calculations were performed on a stiff-walled artery with the same geometry and flow conditions. Experimental results showed cyclical vortex formation and decay within the aneurysm. Numerical simulations agreed well with the experimental results and indicate that vortex position and magnitude are due to pulsatile flow conditions rather than wall elasticity. However, the present results suggest that wall compliance plays a role in sustaining the pressure gradients needed for vortex development.

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