A mathematical model of aortic aneurysm formation


Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a localized enlargement of the abdominal aorta, such that the diameter exceeds 3 cm. The natural history of AAA is progressive growth leading to rupture, an event that carries up to 90% risk of mortality. Hence there is a need to predict the growth of the diameter of the aorta based on the diameter of a patient’s aneurysm at initial screening and aided by non-invasive biomarkers. IL-6 is overexpressed in AAA and was suggested as a prognostic marker for the risk in AAA. The present paper develops a mathe- matical model which relates the growth of the abdominal aorta to the serum concentration of IL-6. Given the initial diameter of the aorta and the serum concentration of IL-6, the model predicts the growth of the diameter at subsequent times. Such a prediction can provide guid- ance to how closely the patient’s abdominal aorta should be monitored. The mathematical model is represented by a system of partial differential equations taking place in the aortic wall, where the media is assumed to have the constituency of an hyperelastic material.

Plos One