Cerebral Aneurysm Prediction: Life Saving Potential with CFD Simulation

This guest contribution on Innovation Intelligence is written by Evan Frantz, CFD Engineer Intern at Cradle North America. SC/Tetra is available through the Altair Partner Alliance.

Imagine you are a doctor. You have just received the results for your latest patient, and it appears that she has a cerebral aneurysm! From your previous experience, you can typically assess the severity of the aneurysm, however this one is not quite as clear. You may be concerned that when you perform the operation complications may occur and burden the patient. However, with rupture of the aneurysm a possibility, not conducting a surgery isn’t an option. What if there was a tool that could give you more (or supplemental) information to help you determine whether the operation is necessary?

For example, in the above scenario, you could log in to your computer, load the aneurysm data in an analysis tool and receive computational results of the shear stress and pressure distributions on the aneurysm. Looking over the data, you conclude that this aneurysm is at risk to grow—and eventually rupture. With this new information in-hand, you contact the surgical team and inform them of the situation. Everyone concludes that intervention is necessary, and immediate preparation for the operation is underway.


Surgery is expensive, risky, and may not always be necessary. The above scenario is exactly what researchers are working to accomplish by applying computational fluid dynamics (CFD). While the technology is still being refined, CFD allows users to look inside the artery to view the shear stress, blood pressure and velocity, and much more to assess what exactly is taking place. This is possible by running numerical simulations using the patients’ blood pressure and MRI or CT scan information. Combining this with CFD, researchers hope to conclude that it can eventually be used to predict rupture.


While there has been previous research conducted by various medical doctors, more needs to be done to reach a definitive conclusion. Cradle hopes to support continued research by providing an automated system which directs its CFD simulation software, SC/Tetra, to create custom settings for each aneurysm simulation in the background while only requiring a few clicks by the user. If you want to learn more about Automated Cerebral Aneurysm Analysis, watch our On-demand webinar to learn how it works and how it can help your research.

Altair Partner Alliance
Altair Partner Alliance

About Altair Partner Alliance

The Altair Partner Alliance (APA) provides access to a broad spectrum of complementary software products, through the use of HyperWorks Units (HWUs) at no additional cost. Their continuously expanding list of partner software, across a broad range of disciplines, serves the needs of hundreds of companies ranging from automotive, aerospace, and defense to consumer products, biomedical and heavy equipment. The APA curates a diverse collection of blog posts written by its many partners to keep readers informed on a variety of trending engineering topics.