On the identification of hypoxic regions in subject-specific cerebral vasculature by combined CFD/MRI

Romana Perinajová, Pim van Ooij, Saša Kenjereš*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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A long-time exposure to lack of oxygen (hypoxia) in some regions of the cerebrovascular system is believed to be one of the causes of cerebral neurological diseases. In the present study, we show how a combination of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) can provide a noninvasive alternative for studying blood flow and transport of oxygen within the cerebral vasculature. We perform computer simulations of oxygen mass transfer in the subject-specific geometry of the circle of Willis. The computational domain and boundary conditions are based on four-dimensional (4D)-flow MRI measurements. Two different oxygen mass transfer models are considered: passive (where oxygen is treated as a dilute chemical species in plasma) and active (where oxygen is bonded to haemoglobin) models. We show that neglecting haemoglobin transport results in a significant underestimation of the arterial wall mass transfer of oxygen. We identified the hypoxic regions along the arterial walls by introducing the critical thresholds that are obtained by comparison of the estimated range of Damköhler number (Da, 〈9; 57〉) with the local Sherwood number. Finally, we recommend additional validations of the combined MRI/CFD approach proposed here for larger groups of subject- or patient-specific brain vasculature systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number220645
Number of pages15
JournalRoyal Society Open Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Alzheimer
  • brain
  • CFD
  • hypoxia
  • MRI
  • oxygen transport


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