The advancement of ischaemic stroke treatment relies on resource-intensive experiments and clinical trials. In order to improve ischaemic stroke treatments, such as thrombolysis and thrombectomy, we target the development of computational tools for in silico trials which can partially replace these animal and human experiments with fast simulations. This study proposes a model that will serve as part of a predictive unit within an in silico clinical trial estimating patient outcome as a function of treatment. In particular, the present work aims at the development and evaluation of an organ-scale microcirculation model of the human brain for perfusion prediction. The model relies on a three-compartment porous continuum approach. Firstly, a fast and robust method is established to compute the anisotropic permeability tensors representing arterioles and venules. Secondly, vessel encoded arterial spin labelling magnetic resonance imaging and clustering are employed to create an anatomically accurate mapping between the microcirculation and large arteries by identifying superficial perfusion territories. Thirdly, the parameter space of the problem is reduced by analysing the governing equations and experimental data. Fourthly, a parameter optimization is conducted. Finally, simulations are performed with the tuned model to obtain perfusion maps corresponding to an open and an occluded (ischaemic stroke) scenario. The perfusion map in the occluded vessel scenario shows promising qualitative agreement with computed tomography images of a patient with ischaemic stroke caused by large vessel occlusion. The results highlight that in the case of vessel occlusion (i) identifying perfusion territories is essential to capture the location and extent of underperfused regions and (ii) anisotropic permeability tensors are required to give quantitatively realistic estimation of perfusion change. In the future, the model will be thoroughly validated against experiments.

finite-element method, human brain, ischaemic stroke, multi-compartment porous model, organ-scale model,
Interface Focus
Department of Radiology

Józsa, T.I. (T. I.), Padmos, R.M. (R. M.), Samuels, N. (N.), El-Bouri, W.K. (W. K.), Hoekstra, A.G. (A. G.), & Payne, S.J. (S. J.). (2021). A porous circulation model of the human brain for in silico clinical trials in ischaemic stroke: A human brain model for ischaemic stroke. Interface Focus, 11(1). doi:10.1098/rsfs.2019.0127rsfs20190127