In the ARES project, a software tool is created to support neurosurgeons at the Kepler University Hospital Linz (KUK), Department of Neurosurgery, to improve the treatment quality of patients with cerebral aneurysms. The tool is intended to be used by neurosurgeons themselves. Due to the improved diagnostic capabilities, it will be able to support the assessment of possible treatment options for patients with cerebral aneurysms. In Upper Austria, 150 to 200 patients with cerebral aneurysms are diagnosed and / or treated at the Department of Neurosurgery per year. Treatment decisions, especially for unruptured aneurysms, are currently being made at the interdisciplinary cerebrovascular conference. With the help of a calculation tool of high reliability, the risk of aneurysm rupture could be better assessed, and surgeries could be potentially avoided or, in urgent cases (e.g. at high risk of rupture), treated preferentially.

Results from previous projects show a high potential for the implementation of such a tool. It will be developed by companies and research institutions from Upper Austria to support neurosurgeons in Upper Austria at the KUK Linz with their decision making. The literature describes scoring systems, which most of the time include only morphological (geometric) influencing factors in the risk assessment. Some publications also contain fluid dynamic simulations for the integration of hemodynamics. However, the significance of structural dynamics of the blood vessel walls is underestimated. Both morphological and hemodynamic (fluid and structure) indicators are considered in the project ARES. These are analyzed with statistical models (> 300 patient data) in order to identify statistically significant influencing factors.

These results are incorporated into the final software tool which calculates the current key figures for a specific patient and based on the statistical classification, provides support in assessing the risk of rupture of aneurysms. The aim is to create a tool which is worldwide unique with its own morphological and hemodynamic scoring system. The tool is being evaluated during the project by neurosurgeons at the Kepler University Hospital regarding usability. The aim is to ensure usability, a reasonable net operating time, a realistic turnaround time and, above all, reliability.

Project details

Name: Aneurysm Risk Estimation Support (ARES)
Duration: 07/2022-09/2024
Funding scheme: Funding call “Digital Health” of the federal state of Upper Austria
Funding volume: Total costs approx. 409,000 EUR / Funding approx. 245,000 EUR
Consortium leader: eulerian-solutions e.U.
Project partners:

  • Institute of Polymer Product Engineering JKU Linz
  • University Clinic for Neurosurgery at the Kepler University Hospital
  • RISC Software GmbH – Unit Medical Informatics

Contact:

Dr. Michael Giretzlehner

Head of Research Department Medical Informatics