Both in academic research and in clinical settings, virtual simulation of the cardiovascular system can be used to rapidly assess complex multivariable interactions between blood vessels, blood flow, and the heart. Moreover, metrics that can only be predicted with computational simulations (e.g., mechanical wall stress, oscillatory shear index, etc.) can be used to assess disease progression, for presurgical planning, and for interventional outcomes. Because the pulmonary vasculature is susceptible to a wide range of pathologies that directly impact and are affected by the hemodynamics (e.g., pulmonary hypertension), the ability to develop numerical models of pulmonary blood flow can be invaluable to the clinical scientist. Pulmonary hypertension is a devastating disease that can directly benefit from computational hemodynamics when used for diagnosis and basic research. In the present work, we provide a clinical overview of pulmonary hypertension with a focus on the hemodynamics, current treatments, and their limitations. Even with a rich history in computational modeling of the human circulation, hemodynamics in the pulmonary vasculature remains largely unexplored. Thus, we review the tasks involved in developing a computational model of pulmonary blood flow, namely vasculature reconstruction, meshing, and boundary conditions. We also address how inconsistencies between models can result in drastically different flow solutions and suggest avenues for future research opportunities. In its current state, the interpretation of this modeling technology can be subjective in a research environment and impractical for clinical practice. Therefore, considerations must be taken into account to make modeling reliable and reproducible in a laboratory setting and amenable to the vascular clinic. Finally, we discuss relevant existing models and how they have been used to gain insight into cardiopulmonary physiology and pathology.
Considerations for Numerical Modeling of the Pulmonary Circulation—A Review With a Focus on Pulmonary Hypertension
Shands Cancer Center,
Allegheny General Hospital,
Contributed by the Bioengineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF BIOMECHANICAL ENGINEERING. Manuscript received December 6, 2012; final manuscript received March 25, 2013; accepted manuscript posted April 4, 2013; published online May 9, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Dalin Tang.
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Kheyfets, V. O., O'Dell, W., Smith, T., Reilly, J. J., and Finol, E. A. (May 9, 2013). "Considerations for Numerical Modeling of the Pulmonary Circulation—A Review With a Focus on Pulmonary Hypertension." ASME. J Biomech Eng. June 2013; 135(6): 061011. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4024141
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