Aortic pressure and flow result from the interaction between the ventricle and the arterial circulation. However, prior three-dimensional simulations of aortic blood flow have either assumed a prescribed velocity profile at the inlet or have computed aortic flow and pressure using an upstream heart model implemented with an explicit approach. In this work, we describe an implicit approach which strongly couples a lumped-parameter heart model with a three-dimensional finite element model of the vascular system. We demonstrate that this approach can be used to compute physiologically-realistic blood flow and pressure waves in three-dimensional arterial models and study the interactions between the heart and the vascular system.

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