, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 546-559
Date: 09 Feb 2007

Morphometry-Based Impedance Boundary Conditions for Patient-Specific Modeling of Blood Flow in Pulmonary Arteries

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Patient-specific computational models could aid in planning interventions to relieve pulmonary arterial stenoses common in many forms of congenital heart disease. We describe a new approach to simulate blood flow in subject-specific models of the pulmonary arteries that consists of a numerical model of the proximal pulmonary arteries created from three-dimensional medical imaging data with terminal impedance boundary conditions derived from linear wave propagation theory applied to morphometric models of distal vessels. A tuning method, employing numerical solution methods for nonlinear systems of equations, was developed to modify the distal vasculature to match measured pressure and flow distribution data. One-dimensional blood flow equations were solved with a finite element method in image-based pulmonary arterial models using prescribed inlet flow and morphometry-based impedance at the outlets. Application of these methods in a pilot study of the effect of removal of unilateral pulmonary arterial stenosis induced in a pig showed good agreement with experimental measurements for flow redistribution and main pulmonary arterial pressure. Next, these methods were applied to a patient with repaired tetralogy of Fallot and predicted insignificant hemodynamic improvement with relief of the stenosis. This method of coupling image-based and morphometry-based models could enable increased fidelity in pulmonary hemodynamic simulation.