Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) allows us to resolve vascular anatomy with submillimeter resolution non-invasively, making it possible to monitor the development of atherosclerosis in vivo (Skinner et al, 1995). Although imaging technology is not yet mature enough to simultaneously resolve the complex flow patterns, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) can reliably and efficiently model pulsatile flow in realistic, three-dimensional arterial geometries. By using imaged lumen geometry and flow rate as input parameters to such model studies, we can reconstruct the local in vivo hemodynamic environment.

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