Precise estimation of wall stress distribution within an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is clinically useful for prediction of its rupture. In this paper a computational fluid dynamic model incorporating two-way coupled fluid-structure interaction is employed to investigate the role of laminar-turbulent flow transition and wall thickness in altering the distribution and magnitude of wall stress in an AAA. Blood flow in axially symmetric aneurysm models governed by a compliant wall mechanics was simulated. Menter’s hybrid k-epsilon/k-omega shear stress transport (SST) model with a correlation-based transition model was used to capture laminar-turbulent transition in the blood flow. Realistic physiological transient boundary conditions were prescribed. The numerical model was validated against experimental data available from the literature. Fluid flow analysis showed the formation of recirculating vortices at the proximal end of the aneurysm after the peak systole which then, moved towards the distal end of the aneurysm along with the bulk flow and were dissipated eventually due to viscous effects. These vortices interacted with the aortic wall and led to local pressure rise. Von Mises stress distribution on the aneurysm wall and location of its peak value were computed and compared with those of a separate numerical simulation performed using a laminar viscous flow model. The predicted peak wall stress was found to be significantly higher for the SST model as compared to the laminar flow model. The location of maximum stress shifted more towards the posterior end of the aneurysm when laminar-turbulent flow transition was considered. In addition, a small reduction of 0.4 mm in wall thickness resulted in the elevation of peak wall stress by a factor of 1.4. The present study showed that capturing flow transition in an AAA is essential to accurate prediction of its rupture. The proposed numerical model provides a robust computational framework to gain more insight into AAA biomechanics and to accurately estimate wall stresses in realistic aneurysm configurations.

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