, Volume 47, Issue 3-4, pp 369-386

Blood-flow models of the circle of Willis from magnetic resonance data

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Abstract

Detailed knowledge of the cerebral hemodynamics is important for a variety of clinical applications. Cerebral perfusion depends not only on the status of the diseased vessels but also on the patency of collateral pathways provided by the circle of Willis. Due to the large anatomical and physiologic variability among individuals, realistic patient-specific models can provide new insights into the cerebral hemodynamics. This paper presents an image-based methodology for constructing patient-specific models of the cerebral circulation. This methodology combines anatomical and physiologic imaging techniques with computer simulation technology. The methodology is illustrated with a finite element model constructed from magnetic resonance image data of a normal volunteer. Several of the remaining challenging problems are identified. This work represents a starting point in the development of realistic models that can be applied to the study of cerebrovascular diseases and their treatment.