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Numerical Simulation of Blood Flow in Aorta with Dilation: A Comparison between Laminar and LES Modeling Methods

Lijian Xu1, Tianyang Yang2, Lekang Yin3, Ye Kong2, Yuri Vassilevski4,5, Fuyou Liang1,5,6,*

1 School of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Civil Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, 200240, China
2 Shanghai Chest Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, 200030, China
3 Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200032, China
4 Marchuk Institute of Numerical Mathematics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 119333, Russia
5 Institute for Personalized Medicine, Sechenov University, Moscow, 119991, Russia
6 Key Laboratory of Hydrodynamics (Ministry of Education), Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, 200240, China

* Corresponding Author: Fuyou Liang. Email: email

Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences 2020, 124(2), 509-526.


Computational modeling methods have been increasingly employed to quantify aortic hemodynamic parameters that are challenging to in vivo measurements but important for the diagnosis/treatment of aortic disease. Although the presence of turbulence-like behaviors of blood flow in normal or diseased aorta has long been confirmed, the majority of existing computational model studies adopted the laminar flow assumption (LFA) in the treatment of sub-grid flow variables. So far, it remains unclear whether LFA would significantly compromise the reliability of hemodynamic simulation. In the present study, we addressed the issue in the context of a specific aortopathy, namely aortic dilation, which is usually accompanied by disturbed flow patterns. Three patient-specific aortas with treated/untreated dilation of the ascending segment were investigated, and their geometrical models were reconstructed from computed tomography angiographic images, with the boundary conditions being prescribed based on flow velocity information measured in vivo with the phase contrast magnetic resonance imaging technique. For the modeling of blood flow, apart from the traditional LFA-based method in which sub-grid flow dynamics is ignored, the large eddy simulation (LES) method capable of incorporating the dissipative energy loss induced by turbulent eddies at the sub-grid level, was adopted and taken as a reference for examining the performance of the LFA-based method. Obtained results showed that the simulated large-scale flow patterns with the two methods had high similarity, both agreeing well with in vivo measurements, although locally large between-method discrepancies in computed hemodynamic quantities existed in regions with high intensity of flow turbulence. Quantitatively, a switch from the LES to the LFAbased modeling method led to mild (<6%) changes in computed space-averaged wall shear stress metrics (i.e., SA-TAWSS, SA-OSI) in the ascending aortic segment where intensive vortex evolution accompanied by high statistical Reynolds stress was observed. In addition, comparisons among the three aortas revealed that the treatment status of aortic dilation or the concomitant presence of aortic valve disease, despite its remarkable influence on flow patterns in the ascending aortic segment, did not significantly affect the degrees of discrepancies between the two modeling methods in predicting SA-TAWSS and SA-OSI. These findings suggest that aortic dilation per se does not induce strong flow turbulence that substantially negates the validity of LFA-based modeling, especially in simulating macro-scale hemodynamic features.


Cite This Article

APA Style
Xu, L., Yang, T., Yin, L., Kong, Y., Vassilevski, Y. et al. (2020). Numerical simulation of blood flow in aorta with dilation: A comparison between laminar and LES modeling methods. Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences, 124(2), 509-526.
Vancouver Style
Xu L, Yang T, Yin L, Kong Y, Vassilevski Y, Liang F. Numerical simulation of blood flow in aorta with dilation: A comparison between laminar and LES modeling methods. Comput Model Eng Sci. 2020;124(2):509-526
IEEE Style
L. Xu, T. Yang, L. Yin, Y. Kong, Y. Vassilevski, and F. Liang "Numerical Simulation of Blood Flow in Aorta with Dilation: A Comparison between Laminar and LES Modeling Methods," Comput. Model. Eng. Sci., vol. 124, no. 2, pp. 509-526. 2020.


cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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