Coronary tortuosity (CT) would alter the local wall shear stress (WSS) and may become a risk factor for atherosclerosis. Here we performed a systematic computational study to relate CT morphological parameters to abnormal WSS, which is a predisposing factor to the formation of atherosclerotic lesions. Several idealized left coronary artery (LCA) models were created to conduct a series of morphological parametric studies, in which we concentrate on three specific morphological parameters, the center line radius (CLR), the bend angle (BA), and the length between two adjust bends (LBB). The time averaged WSS (TAWSS), the oscillatory shear index (OSI), and the time averaged WSS gradient (WSSGnd) were explored by using the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) method, in order to determine susceptible sites for the onset of early atherosclerosis. In addition, two realistic LCA models were reconstructed to further validate the finding's credibility. The CLR and LBB had great impact on the distributions of WSS-derived parameters, while the BA had minor impact on the hemodynamic of the tortuous arteries. Abnormal regions with low TAWSS (TAWSS < 0.5 Pa), high OSI (OSI > 0.1) and high WSSGnd (WSSGnd > 8) were observed at the inner wall of bend sections in the models with small CLR or small LBB. These findings were also confirmed in the realistic models. Severe CT with small CLR or LBB would lead to the formation of abnormal WSS regions at the bend sections and providing these regions with favorable conditions for the onset and/or progression of atherosclerosis.

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