Does the degree of coarctation of the aorta influence wall shear stress focal heterogeneity?


© 2016 IEEE.The development of atherosclerosis in the aorta is associated with low and oscillatory wall shear stress for normal patients. Moreover, localized differences in wall shear stress heterogeneity have been correlated with the presence of complex plaques in the descending aorta. While it is known that coarctation of the aorta can influence indices of wall shear stress, it is unclear how the degree of narrowing influences resulting patterns. We hypothesized that the degree of coarctation would have a strong influence on focal heterogeneity of wall shear stress. To test this hypothesis, we modeled the fluid dynamics in a patient-specific aorta with varied degrees of coarctation. We first validated a massively parallel computational model against experimental results for the patient geometry and then evaluated local shear stress patterns for a range of degrees of coarctation. Wall shear stress patterns at two cross sectional slices prone to develop atherosclerotic plaques were evaluated. Levels at different focal regions were compared to the conventional measure of average circumferential shear stress to enable localized quantification of coarctation-induced shear stress alteration. We find that the coarctation degree causes highly heterogeneous changes in wall shear stress.






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