Advances in medical imaging technology have allowed the extraction of 3D anatomic information non-invasively in vivo. This information has been used to reconstruct the anatomy of interest and obtain a realistic model of the 3D geometry. Such models provide a parametric shape description which allows for the quantitative comparison of inter or intra individual variability of topologically similar anatomic structures. However, the uncertainty associated with the imaging and reconstruction processes involved in generating these models limits the spatial information that can be accurately resolved utilizing this approach. This, within the context of arterial structures, limits the accuracy of the data obtained from flow simulations using these models. However, the primary effects on the hemodynamics of topology preserving changes in the geometry of arterial structures, such as those occurring due to changes in body posture associated with normal daily activity, could be resolved if the small scale surface features are separated from the strong shape features that characterize the topology. Here we develop geometric tools and methods to achieve this and apply them to assess the influence of head posture on carotid artery hemodynamics [1].

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