The Impact of Cardiac Motion on Aortic Valve Flow Used in Computational Simulations of the Thoracic Aorta

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American Society of Mechanical Engineers

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Journal of Biomechanical Engineering

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Advancements in image-based computational modeling are producing increasingly more realistic representations of vasculature and hemodynamics, but so far have not compensated for cardiac motion when imposing inflow boundary conditions. The effect of cardiac motion on aortic flow is important when assessing sequelae in this region including coarctation of the aorta (CoA) or regurgitant fraction. The objective of this investigation was to develop a method to assess and correct for the influence of cardiac motion on blood flow measurements through the aortic valve (AoV) and to determine its impact on patient-specific local hemodynamics quantified by computational fluid dynamics (CFD). A motion-compensated inflow waveform was imposed into the CFD model of a patient with repaired CoA that accounted for the distance traveled by the basal plane during the cardiac cycle. Time-averaged wall shear stress (TAWSS) and turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) values were compared with CFD results of the same patient using the original waveform. Cardiac motion resulted in underestimation of flow during systole and overestimation during diastole. Influences of inflow waveforms on TAWSS were greatest along the outer wall of the ascending aorta (AscAo) (∼30 dyn/cm2). Differences in TAWSS were more pronounced than those from the model creation or mesh dependence aspects of CFD. TKE was slightly higher for the motion-compensated waveform throughout the aortic arch. These results suggest that accounting for cardiac motion when quantifying blood flow through the AoV can lead to different conclusions for hemodynamic indices, which may be important if these results are ultimately used to predict patient outcomes.


Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, Vol. 138, No. 9 (September 2016). DOI.