Endovascular Repair of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm: Follow-up with Noninvasive Vascular Elastography in a Canine Model

Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1148/radiol.2015142098

Noninvasive vascular elastography could be a good addition to the radiology arsenal for characterizing thrombus organization and slow flow endoleak not seen at Doppler US and CT and reduce the need for CT angiography during follow-up of endovascular aneurysm repair.


To assess the ability of noninvasive vascular elastography (NIVE) to help characterize endoleaks and thrombus organization in a canine model of abdominal aortic aneurysm after endovascular aneurysm repair with stent-grafts, in comparison with computed tomography (CT) and pathologic examination findings.

Materials and Methods

All protocols were approved by the Animal Care Committee in accordance with the guidelines of the Canadian Council of Animal Care. Stent-grafts were implanted in a group of 18 dogs with aneurysms created in the abdominal aorta. Type I endoleak was created in four aneurysms; type II endoleak, in 13 aneurysms; and no endoleak, in one aneurysm. Doppler ultrasonography and NIVE examinations were performed at baseline and at 1-week, 1-month, 3-month, and 6-month follow-up. Angiography, CT, and macroscopic tissue examination were performed at sacrifice. Strain values were computed by using the Lagrangian speckle model estimator. Areas of endoleak, solid organized thrombus, and fresh thrombus were identified and segmented by comparing the results of CT and macroscopic tissue examination. Strain values were compared by using the Wilcoxon rank-sum and Kruskal-Wallis tests.


All stent-grafts were successfully deployed, and endoleaks were clearly depicted in the last follow-up elastography examinations. Maximal axial strains over consecutive heart cycles in endoleak, organized thrombus, and fresh thrombus areas were 0.78% ± 0.22, 0.23% ± 0.02, 0.10% ± 0.04, respectively. Strain values were significantly different between endoleak and organized or fresh thrombus areas (P < .000) and between organized and fresh thrombus areas (P < .0002). No correlation was found between strain values and type of endoleak, sac pressure, endoleak size, and aneurysm size.


NIVE may be able to help characterize endoleak and thrombus organization, regardless of the size, pressure, and type of endoleak.

© RSNA, 2015


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Article History

Received September 19, 2014; revision requested November 4; revision received April 13, 2015; accepted May 19; final version accepted September 3.
Published online: Dec 21 2015
Published in print: May 2016