Abstract

Precise description of vascular morphometry is crucial to support medical device manufacturers and clinicians for improving device development and interventional outcomes. A compact and intuitive method is presented to automatically characterize the surface geometry of tubular anatomic structures and quantify surface curvatures starting from generic stereolithographic (STL) surfaces. The method was validated with software phantoms and used to quantify the longitudinal surface curvatures of 37 human thoracic aortas with aneurysm or dissection. The quantification of surface curvatures showed good agreement with analytic solutions from the software phantoms, and demonstrated better agreement as compared to estimation methods using only centerline geometry and cross-sectional radii. For the human thoracic aortas, longitudinal inner surface curvature was significantly higher than centerline curvature (0.33 ± 0.06 versus 0.16 ± 0.02 cm−1 for mean; 1.38 ± 0.48 versus 0.45 ± 0.11 cm−1 for peak; both p < 0.001). These findings show the importance of quantifying surface curvatures in order to better describe the geometry and biomechanical behavior of the thoracic aorta, which can assist in treatment planning and supplying device manufactures with more precise boundary conditions for mechanical evaluation.

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