Aneurysms are abnormal dilatations of arteries, and these lesions are found almost exclusively in humans. Saccular cerebral aneurysms occur most frequently in the Circle of Willis, which is a circuit of arteries supplying the brain with blood. Aneurysms of this kind appear in a few percent of the human population in the Western world. Only a few percent of these lesions do actually rupture, but once rupture occurs the consequences are severe, often with death as outcome. Once a cerebral aneurysm is detected, clinicians need to decide whether operation is required or not. These decisions are mainly based on the size of the aneurysm, where larger aneurysms are considered to be more critical than smaller ones. This size criterion is, however, not very reliable, and criteria based on mechanical fields (stress or strain) of the aneurysm should be taken into account in the decision. This, however, requires knowledge of the constitutive behavior of the aneurysm wall, together with patient-specific information regarding geometry and boundary conditions. In order to be able to model the constitutive behavior of an aneurysm, the structural features of the aneurysm wall need to be determined. Knowledge of the etiology of the aneurysm may here provide important insights.

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