In-vitro pulsatile flow visualization studies were conducted in an adult-sized pulmonary artery model to observe the effects of valvular pulmonic stenosis on the flow fields of the main, left and right pulmonary arteries. The flow patterns revealed that as the degree of stenosis increased, the jet-type flow created by the valve became narrower, and it impinged on the far (distal) wall of the left pulmonary artery further downstream from the junction of the bifurcation. This in turn led to larger regions of disturbed turbulent flow, as well as helical-type secondary flow motions in the left pulmonary artery, compared to the right pulmonary artery. The flow field in the main pulmonary artery also became more disturbed and turbulent, especially during peak systole and the deceleration phase. The flow visualization observations have been valuable in helping to conduct further quantitative studies such as pressure and velocity field mapping. Such studies are important to understanding the fluid mechanics characteristics of the main pulmonary artery and its two major branches.

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