Three-dimensional simulations of embolic stroke and an equation for sizing emboli from imaging

Hague, James P.; Keelan, Jonathan; Beishon, Lucy; Swienton, David; Robinson, Thompson G. and Chung, Emma M. L. (2023). Three-dimensional simulations of embolic stroke and an equation for sizing emboli from imaging. Scientific Reports, 13(1), article no. 3021.



Stroke simulations are needed to run in-silico trials, develop hypotheses for clinical studies and to interpret ultrasound monitoring and radiological imaging. We describe proof-of-concept three-dimensional stroke simulations, carrying out in silico trials to relate lesion volume to embolus diameter and calculate probabilistic lesion overlap maps, building on our previous Monte Carlo method. Simulated emboli were released into an in silico vasculature to simulate 1000 s of strokes. Infarct volume distributions and probabilistic lesion overlap maps were determined. Computer-generated lesions were assessed by clinicians and compared with radiological images. The key result of this study is development of a three-dimensional simulation for embolic stroke and its application to an in silico clinical trial. Probabilistic lesion overlap maps showed that the lesions from small emboli are homogeneously distributed throughout the cerebral vasculature. Mid-sized emboli were preferentially found in posterior cerebral artery (PCA) and posterior region of the middle cerebral artery (MCA) territories. For large emboli, MCA, PCA and anterior cerebral artery (ACA) lesions were comparable to clinical observations, with MCA, PCA then ACA territories identified as the most to least probable regions for lesions to occur. A power law relationship between lesion volume and embolus diameter was found. In conclusion, this article showed proof-of-concept for large in silico trials of embolic stroke including 3D information, identifying that embolus diameter could be determined from infarct volume and that embolus size is critically important to the resting place of emboli. We anticipate this work will form the basis of clinical applications including intraoperative monitoring, determining stroke origins, and in silico trials for complex situations such as multiple embolisation.

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