Chirality is a fundamental property in many biologic systems. Motivated by previous observations of helical aortic blood flow, aortic tissue fibers, and propagation of aortic dissections, we introduce methods to characterize helical morphology of aortic dissections. After validation on computer generated phantoms, the methods were applied to patients with type B dissection. For this cohort, there was a distinct bimodal distribution of helical propagation of the dissection with either achiral or exclusively right-handed chirality, with no intermediate cases or left-handed cases. This clear grouping indicates that dissection propagation favors these two modes, potentially due to the right-handedness of helical aortic blood flow and cell orientation. The characterization of dissection chirality and quantification of helical morphology advances our understanding of dissection pathology and lays a foundation for applications in clinical research and treatment practice. For example, the chirality and magnitude of helical metrics of dissections may indicate risk of dissection progression, help define treatment and surveillance strategies, and enable development of novel devices that account for various helical morphologies.
View details for DOI 10.1152/ajpheart.00778.2020
View details for PubMedID 33382638