In pulmonary hypertension (PH) diagnosis and management, many useful functional markers have been proposed that are unfeasible for clinical implementation. For example, assessing right ventricular (RV) contractile response to a gradual increase in pulmonary arterial (PA) impedance requires simultaneously recording RV pressure and volume, and under different afterload/preload conditions. In addition to clinical applications, many research projects are hampered by limited retrospective clinical data and could greatly benefit from simulations that extrapolate unavailable hemodynamics. The objective of this study was to develop and validate a 0D computational model, along with a numerical implementation protocol, of the RV–PA axis. Model results are qualitatively compared with published clinical data and quantitatively validated against right heart catheterization (RHC) for 115 pediatric PH patients. The RV–PA circuit is represented using a general elastance function for the RV and a three-element Windkessel initial value problem for the PA. The circuit mathematically sits between two reservoirs of constant pressure, which represent the right and left atriums. We compared Pmax, Pmin, mPAP, cardiac output (CO), and stroke volume (SV) between the model and RHC. The model predicted between 96% and 98% of the variability in pressure and 98–99% in volumetric characteristics (CO and SV). However, Bland Altman plots showed the model to have a consistent bias for most pressure and volumetric parameters, and differences between model and RHC to have considerable error. Future studies will address this issue and compare specific waveforms, but these initial results are extremely promising as preliminary proof of concept of the modeling approach.

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