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An efficient two-stage approach for image-based FSI analysis of atherosclerotic arteries

  • Author(s): Leach, Joseph R.
  • Rayz, Vitaliy L.
  • Mofrad, Mohammad R.
  • Saloner, David
  • et al.
Abstract

Patient-specific biomechanical modeling of atherosclerotic arteries has the potential to aid clinicians in characterizing lesions and determining optimal treatment plans. To attain high levels of accuracy, recent models use medical imaging data to determine plaque component boundaries in three dimensions, and fluid–structure interaction is used to capture mechanical loading of the diseased vessel. As the plaque components and vessel wall are often highly complex in shape, constructing a suitable structured computational mesh is very challenging and can require a great deal of time. Models based on unstructured computational meshes require relatively less time to construct and are capable of accurately representing plaque components in three dimensions. These models unfortunately require additional computational resources and computing time for accurate and meaningful results. A two-stage modeling strategy based on unstructured computational meshes is proposed to achieve a reasonable balance between meshing difficulty and computational resource and time demand. In this method, a coarsegrained simulation of the full arterial domain is used to guide and constrain a fine-scale simulation of a smaller region of interest within the full domain. Results for a patient-specific carotid bifurcation model demonstrate that the two-stage approach can afford a large savings in both time for mesh generation and time and resources needed for computation. The effects of solid and fluid domain truncation were explored, and were shown to minimally affect accuracy of the stress fields predicted with the two-stage approach.

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