Oxygen Mass Transfer Calculations in Large Arteries

[+] Author and Article Information
J. A. Moore, C. R. Ethier

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Institute of Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

J Biomech Eng 119(4), 469-475 (Nov 01, 1997) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2798295 History: Received May 23, 1996; Revised November 14, 1996; Online October 30, 2007


The purpose of this study was to model the transport of oxygen in large arteries, including the physiologically important effects of oxygen transport by hemoglobin, coupling of transport between oxygen in the blood and in wall tissue, and metabolic consumption of oxygen by the wall. Numerical calculations were carried out in an 89 percent area reduction axisymmetric stenosis model for several wall thicknesses. The effects of different boundary conditions, different schemes for linearizing the oxyhemoglobin saturation curve, and different Schmidt numbers were all examined by comparing results against a reference solution obtained from solving the full nonlinear governing equations with physiologic values of Schmidt number. Our results showed that for parameters typical of oxygen mass transfer in the large arteries, oxygen transport was primarily determined by wall-side effects, specifically oxygen consumption by wall tissue and wall-side mass transfer resistance. Hemodynamic factors played a secondary role, producing maximum local variations in intimal oxygen tension on the order of only 5–6 mmHg. For purposes of modeling blood-side oxygen transport only, accurate results were obtained through use of a computationally efficient linearized form of the convection-diffusion equation, so long as blood-side oxygen tensions remained in the physiologic range for large arteries. Neglect of oxygen binding by hemoglobin led to large errors, while arbitrary reduction of the Schmidt number led to more modest errors. We conclude that further studies of oxygen transport in large arteries must couple blood-side oxygen mass transport to transport in the wall, and accurately model local oxygen consumption within the wall.

Copyright © 1997 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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