A numerical study was conducted to solve the three-dimensional Navier-Stokes equations for time-dependent flow in a compliant thin-walled, anatomically correct left ventricle during early systole. Model parameters were selected so that the simulation results could be compared to clinical data. The results produced endocardial wall motion which was consistent with human heart data, and velocity fields consistent with those occurring in a normally-contracting left ventricle. During isovolumetric contraction the posterior wall moved basally and posteriorly, while the septal wall moved apically and anteriorly. During ejection, the short axis of the left ventricle decreased 1.1 mm and the long axis increased 4.2 mm. At the end of the isovolumetric contraction, most of the flow field was moving form the apex toward the base with recirculation regions at the small pocket formed by the concave anterior leaflet, adjacent to the septal wall and near the left ventricular posterior wall. Fluid velocities in the outflow tract matched NMR data to within 10 percent. The results were also consistent with clinical measurements of mitral valve-papillary muscle apparatus displacement, and changes in the mitral valve annular area. The results of the present study show that the thin-walled, three-dimensional left ventricular model simulates observed normal heart phenomena. Validation of this model permits further studies to be performed which involve altered ventricular function due to a variety of cardiac diseases.

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