Indexed on: 07 Feb '09Published on: 07 Feb '09Published in: Journal of biomechanics
The compliance of the vessel wall affects hemodynamic parameters which may alter the permeability of the vessel wall. Based on experimental measurements, the present study established a finite element (FE) model in the proximal elastic vessel segments of epicardial right coronary arterial (RCA) tree obtained from computed tomography. The motion of elastic vessel wall was measured by an impedance catheter and the inlet boundary condition was measured by an ultrasound flow probe. The Galerkin FE method was used to solve the Navier-Stokes and Continuity equations, where the convective term in the Navier-Stokes equation was changed in the arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian (ALE) framework to incorporate the motion due to vessel compliance. Various hemodynamic parameters (e.g., wall shear stress-WSS, WSS spatial gradient-WSSG, oscillatory shear index-OSI) were analyzed in the model. The motion due to vessel compliance affects the time-averaged WSSG more strongly than WSS at bifurcations. The decrease of WSSG at flow divider in elastic bifurcations, as compared to rigid bifurcations, implies that the vessel compliance decreases the permeability of vessel wall and may be atheroprotective. The model can be used to predict coronary flow pattern in subject-specific anatomy as determined by noninvasive imaging.