Growth rate and rupture rate of unruptured intracranial aneurysms: A population approach

Liang-Der Jou, Michel E. Mawad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: Understanding aneurysm growth rate allows us to predict not only the current rupture risk, but also accumulated rupture risk in the future. However, determining growth rate of unruptured intracranial aneurysms often requires follow-up of patients for a long period of time so that significant growth can be observed and measured. We investigate a relationship between growth rate and rupture rate and develop a theoretical model that can predict average behavior of unruptured intracranial aneurysms based on existing clinical data. Methods: A mathematical model is developed that links growth rate and rupture rate. This model assumes a stable aneurysm size distribution so the number of aneurysm ruptures is balanced by the growth of aneurysms. Annual growth rates and growth profiles are calculated from a hypothetical size distribution and data from a previous clinical study. Results: Our model predicts a growth rate of 0.34-1.63 mm/yr for three different growth models when the rupture rate at 10 mm is 1%. The growth rate is 0.56-0.65 mm/yr if annual rupture rate averaged over all aneurysm sizes is assumed to be 2%. The peak of aneurysm size distribution coincides with a period of slow growth between 5 mm and 8 mm. Conclusion: This mathematical model can be used to predict aneurysm growth rate, and the results are consistent with previous clinical studies. Predictions from both hypothetical and clinical cases agree very well. This model explains why some aneurysms may grow into a stable size and remain so without rupture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number11
JournalBioMedical Engineering Online
StatePublished - Jun 18 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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