Abnormal hemodynamic forces associated with distortions of blood vessel lumen have been thought to play an important role in the pathogenesis of focal vascular lesions. In the vertebral artery, segments located between osseous rings are ectatic compared with those surrounded by the rings. Based on the assumption that arterial blood flow was quasi-steady, this work was undertaken to investigate the structure of flow through arterial models with one or two sinusoidal stenoses. Numerical analysis was performed by an integral-momentum method. The validity of the method was examined by comparison of experimental data so far reported with theoretical results. Velocity and wall shear stress distributions were explored in a model with two stenoses simulating a part of the vertebral artery. The ectatic segments of the vertebral artery have been known as predilection sites for atherosclerotic lesions. The present study suggested that the ectatic wall was under unstable shear stresses, the direction of which was dependent upon the magnitude of the Reynolds number.

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