Image-Based Simulations Show Important Flow Fluctuations in a Normal Left Ventricle: What Could be the Implications?

Abstract : Intra-cardiac flow has been explored for decades but there is still no consensus on whether or not healthy left ventricles (LV) may harbour turbulent-like flow despite its potential physiological and clinical relevance. The purpose of this study is to elucidate if a healthy LV could harbour flow instabilities, using image-based computational fluid dynamics (CFD). 35 cardiac cycles were simulated in a patient-specific left heart model obtained from cardio-vascular magnetic resonance (CMR). The model includes the valves, atrium, ventricle, papillary muscles and ascending aorta. We computed phase-averaged flow patterns, fluctuating kinetic energy (FKE) and associated frequency components. The LV harbours disturbed flow during diastole with cycle-to-cycle variations. However, phase-averaged velocity fields much resemble those of CMR measurements and usually reported CFD results. The peak FKE value occurs during the E wave deceleration and reaches 25 % of the maximum phase-averaged flow kinetic energy. Highest FKE values are predominantly located in the basal region and their frequency content reach more than 200 Hz. This study suggests that high-frequency flow fluctuations in normal LV may be common, implying deficiencies in the hypothesis usually made when computing cardiac flows and highlighting biases when deriving quantities from velocity fields measured with CMR.
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Christophe Chnafa, Simon Mendez, Franck Nicoud. Image-Based Simulations Show Important Flow Fluctuations in a Normal Left Ventricle: What Could be the Implications?. Annals of Biomedical Engineering, Springer Verlag, 2016, 44 (11), pp.3346-3358. ⟨http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10439-016-1614-6⟩. ⟨10.1007/s10439-016-1614-6⟩. ⟨hal-01303067⟩

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