Assessment of turbulent blood flow and wall shear stress in aortic coarctation using image-based simulations

Romana Perinajová, Joe F. Juffermans, Jonhatan Lorenzo Mercado, Jean Paul Aben, Leon Ledoux, Jos J.M. Westenberg, Hildo J. Lamb, Saša Kenjereš

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In this study, we analyzed turbulent flows through a phantom (a 180 bend with narrowing) at peak systole and a patient-specific coarctation of the aorta (CoA), with a pulsating flow, using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD). For MRI, a 4D-flow MRI is performed using a 3T scanner. For CFD, the standard k- ϵ, shear stress transport k- ω, and Reynolds stress (RSM) models are applied. A good agreement between measured and simulated velocity is obtained for the phantom, especially for CFD with RSM. The wall shear stress (WSS) shows significant differences between CFD and MRI in absolute values, due to the limited near-wall resolution of MRI. However, normalized WSS shows qualitatively very similar distributions of the local values between MRI and CFD. Finally, a direct comparison between in vivo 4D-flow MRI and CFD with the RSM turbulence model is performed in the CoA. MRI can properly identify regions with locally elevated or suppressed WSS. If the exact values of the WSS are necessary, CFD is the preferred method. For future applications, we recommend the use of the combined MRI/CFD method for analysis and evaluation of the local flow patterns and WSS in the aorta.

Original languageEnglish
Article number84
Number of pages20
JournalBioMedical Engineering OnLine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Aorta
  • Coarctation
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Phantom
  • Turbulence


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