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Research Project MEDVIS 3D

Blood flow simulation in the brain on the basis of medical image data.

The goal of the research project MEDVIS 3D, which was carried out in cooperation with the Kepler University Hospital Linz (Med Campus III, formerly AKH Linz, and Neuromed Campus, formerly LNK Wagner-Jauregg) is the development of a universal software tool for easy and fast reconstruction of aneurysms from medical image data (MR, CT, etc.). Based on the intensity data of these modalities, the MEDVIS 3D software is able to reconstruct and directly visualize the acquired volume in 3D. The system marks areas that contain pathologically dilated vessels (aneurysms) and calculates various measures like diameters or volume. Inlet planes can be defined by the physician through direct interaction; the system automatically reconstructs the vessel pathway between those planes. Thus, the software supports the diagnosis of aneurysms and allows a quantitative assessment of the therapy progress.

Reconstructed 3D geometry data can be integrated into a computer simulation model. Using the Finite Element Method (FEM), the system can simulate the blood flow in the brain. The complex numerical solvers are accelerated by the Algebraic MultiGrid method (AMG), High Performance Computing (HPC) and modern GPU programming. Depending on the complexity of the vessel structure, one simulation run takes several minutes up to many hours. The MEDVIS 3D system can calculate velocity and pressure fields, as well as surface stresses at the vessel wall, and even determine the displacement of the vessel wall by the blood pulse. Thus, the risk of a rupture of the dilated vessel (hemorrhage), as well as adequate therapy measures, can be derived from the simulation results. The system was evaluated together with medical experts in clinical routine and all results were stored in a central database. This led to a deeper understanding of the mechanical processes involved in the development and growth of aneurysms. A clinically usable version of MEDVIS 3D has existed since 2013.

This work was financed by research subsidies granted by the province of Upper Austria, GESPAG (now OÖG) and FFG.

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Contact Person

    Dr. Michael Giretzlehner

    Head of Unit Medical Informatics

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