In Vitro Validation of Finite-Element Model of AAA Hemodynamics Incorporating Realistic Outlet Boundary Conditions

Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
Journal of Biomechanical Engineering (Impact Factor: 1.78). 04/2011; 133(4):041003. DOI: 10.1115/1.4003526
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study is to validate numerical simulations of flow and pressure in an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) using phase-contrast magnetic resonance imaging (PCMRI) and an in vitro phantom under physiological flow and pressure conditions. We constructed a two-outlet physical flow phantom based on patient imaging data of an AAA and developed a physical Windkessel model to use as outlet boundary conditions. We then acquired PCMRI data in the phantom while it operated under conditions mimicking a resting and a light exercise physiological state. Next, we performed in silico numerical simulations and compared experimentally measured velocities, flows, and pressures in the in vitro phantom to those computed in the in silico simulations. There was a high degree of agreement in all of the pressure and flow waveform shapes and magnitudes between the experimental measurements and simulated results. The average pressures and flow split difference between experiment and simulation were all within 2%. Velocity patterns showed good agreement between experimental measurements and simulated results, especially in the case of whole-cycle averaged comparisons. We demonstrated methods to perform in vitro phantom experiments with physiological flows and pressures, showing good agreement between numerically simulated and experimentally measured velocity fields and pressure waveforms in a complex patient-specific AAA geometry.

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