Multiscale modeling of human cerebrovasculature: A hybrid approach using image-based geometry and a mathematical algorithm
by Satoshi Ii, Hiroki Kitade, Shunichi Ishida, Yohsuke Imai, Yoshiyuki Watanabe, Shigeo Wada
The cerebral vasculature has a complex and hierarchical network, ranging from vessels of a few millimeters to superficial cortical vessels with diameters of a few hundred micrometers, and to the microvasculature (arteriole/venule) and capillary beds in the cortex. In standard imaging techniques, it is difficult to segment all vessels in the network, especially in the case of the human brain. This study proposes a hybrid modeling approach that determines these networks by explicitly segmenting the large vessels from medical images and employing a novel vascular generation algorithm. The framework enables vasculatures to be generated at coarse and fine scales for individual arteries and veins with vascular subregions, following the personalized anatomy of the brain and macroscale vasculatures. In this study, the vascular structures of superficial cortical (pial) vessels before they penetrate the cortex are modeled as a mesoscale vasculature. The validity of the present approach is demonstrated through comparisons with partially observed data from existing measurements of the vessel distributions on the brain surface, pathway fractal features, and vascular territories of the major cerebral arteries. Additionally, this validation provides some biological insights: (i) vascular pathways may form to ensure a reasonable supply of blood to the local surface area; (ii) fractal features of vascular pathways are not sensitive to overall and local brain geometries; and (iii) whole pathways connecting the upstream and downstream entire-scale cerebral circulation are highly dependent on the local curvature of the cerebral sulci.
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