Objective: To investigate the association between vascular morphology and the development of intracranial aneurysms (IAs), the morphological changes of intracranial arteries after IA induction were examined using a rodent model. Methods: The vascular morphology of the circle of Willis in rats was visualized at 1 week and at 3 months after IA induction using 7-T magnetic resonance imaging. The following 2 angle parameters were defined: the angle between the parent artery and the daughter arteries (PD angle), and the widening of the daughter arteries (DD angle). The correlations of the angle parameters with IA size and with the number of macrophages infiltrated in the IA wall by immunohistochemistry were examined. Results: Magnetic resonance imaging showed bending of the arteries over time around the predilection site for IAs. The PD angle increased significantly 1 week after IA induction (P < 0.05) and correlated with IA size (P < 0.01). The DD angle did not increase after 1 week, but increased 3 months after IA induction (P < 0.01). The PD angle 1 week after surgery also correlated with the number of infiltrated macrophages in aneurysmal walls (P = 0.01). Conclusions: Sequential inward bending of arterial bifurcations occurred after IA induction in the rat model. The degree of arterial bending correlated with IA development and inflammation in the IA wall, suggesting that the vascular morphology may be strongly associated with IA development through a proinflammatory mechanism.
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