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Research Papers

Bulk Flow and Near Wall Hemodynamics of the Rabbit Aortic Arch and Descending Thoracic Aorta: A 4D PC-MRI Derived Computational Fluid Dynamics Study

[+] Author and Article Information
D. S. Molony, H. Y. Sun, H. Samady, A. Rezvan

Division of Cardiology,
Department of Medicine,
Emory University School of Medicine,
Atlanta, GA 30322

J. Park, D. P. Giddens

Wallace H. Coulter
Department of Biomedical Engineering,
Georgia Institute of Technology and
Emory University,
Atlanta, GA 30332

L. Zhou

Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences,
Emory University School of Medicine,
Atlanta, GA 30322

C. C. Fleischer

Wallace H. Coulter
Department of Biomedical Engineering,
Georgia Institute of Technology and
Emory University,
Atlanta, GA 30332;
Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences,
Emory University School of Medicine,
Atlanta, GA 30322

X. P. Hu

Department of Bioengineering,
University of California,
Riverside, CA 92521

J. N. Oshinski

Wallace H. Coulter
Department of Biomedical Engineering,
Georgia Institute of Technology
and Emory University,
Atlanta, GA 30332;
Department of Radiology and
Imaging Sciences,
Emory University School of Medicine,
Atlanta, GA 30322

Manuscript received September 27, 2017; final manuscript received July 26, 2018; published online October 17, 2018. Assoc. Editor: C. Alberto Figueroa.

J Biomech Eng 141(1), 011003 (Oct 17, 2018) (11 pages) Paper No: BIO-17-1434; doi: 10.1115/1.4041222 History: Received September 27, 2017; Revised July 26, 2018

Animal models offer a flexible experimental environment for studying atherosclerosis. The mouse is the most commonly used animal, however, the underlying hemodynamics in larger animals such as the rabbit are far closer to that of humans. The aortic arch is a vessel with complex helical flow and highly heterogeneous shear stress patterns which may influence where atherosclerotic lesions form. A better understanding of intraspecies flow variation and the impact of geometry on flow may improve our understanding of where disease forms. In this work, we use magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) and 4D phase contrast magnetic resonance imaging (PC-MRI) to image and measure blood velocity in the rabbit aortic arch. Measured flow rates from the PC-MRI were used as boundary conditions in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models of the arches. Helical flow, cross flow index (CFI), and time-averaged wall shear stress (TAWSS) were determined from the simulated flow field. Both traditional geometric metrics and shape modes derived from statistical shape analysis were analyzed with respect to flow helicity. High CFI and low TAWSS were found to colocalize in the ascending aorta and to a lesser extent on the inner curvature of the aortic arch. The Reynolds number was linearly associated with an increase in helical flow intensity (R = 0.85, p < 0.05). Both traditional and statistical shape analyses correlated with increased helical flow symmetry. However, a stronger correlation was obtained from the statistical shape analysis demonstrating its potential for discerning the role of shape in hemodynamic studies.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Example of three phase images of the aortic arch (left). Approximate locations from where flow rates are determined by integrating measured velocity over cross-sectional area (right).

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Fig. 2

Contours of TAWSS (Pa) and CFI for subject 12. Arches are unwrapped about the outer curvature and the inner curvature is denoted by the dashed line. Binary maps are then constructed based on predefined thresholds for abnormal hemodynamics.

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Fig. 3

Average percentage distribution of ascending aorta flow through each vessel. Error bars indicate standard deviation. * indicates significant difference in vessel flow between partial and sham ligation.

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Fig. 4

(a) TAWSS (Pa) of subject 9 with flow distribution using population averaged sham ligation outlet boundary conditions (left) and population averaged partial ligation outlet boundary conditions (right). (b) Difference in subject 9 TAWSS (Pa) between sham and partial ligation boundary conditions.

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Fig. 5

Local normalized helicity of subject 9 with flow distribution using population averaged sham ligation outlet boundary conditions (left) and population averaged partial ligation outlet boundary conditions (right)

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Fig. 6

Unwrapped surfaces illustrating TAWSS (Pa) (left column), CFI (middle column), and colocalized low TAWSS and high CFI (right column) of each rabbit. Arches are unwrapped about the outer curvature and the inner curvature is denoted by the arrow. Individual rabbit geometries are not shown at the same size scale.

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Fig. 7

Isosurfaces of LNH at five different stages of the cardiac cycle. LNH = 0.8 indicates clockwise helices and LNH = −0.8 indicates counter-clockwise helices.

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Fig. 8

Isosurfaces (top row) of LNH and geometry (bottom row) for rabbits with dominant clockwise (h3 > 0) and counter-clockwise helical flow (h3 < 0)

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Fig. 9

(a) Relationship between shape mode 1 and h4. (b) Change in shape of the atlas toward ±2 standard deviations of the shape mode.

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Fig. 10

(a) Relationship between shape mode 3 and h2. (b) Change in shape of the atlas toward ±2 standard deviations of the shape mode.

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Fig. 11

Local normalized helicity of all rabbits during peak systole (S) and diastole (D)

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