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Effect of the Mitral Valve’s Anterior Leaflet on Axisymmetry of Transmitral Vortex Ring


The shape and formation of transmitral vortex ring are shown to be associated with diastolic function of the left ventricle (LV). Transmitral vortex ring is a flow feature that is observed to be non-axisymmetric in a healthy heart and its inherent asymmetry in the LV assists in efficient ejection of the blood during systole. This study is a first step towards understanding the effects of the mitral valve's anterior leaflet on transmitral flow. We experimentally study a single-leaflet model of the mitral valve to investigate the effect of the anterior leaflet on the axisymmetry of the generated vortex ring based on the three-dimensional data acquired using defocusing digital particle image velocimetry. Vortex rings form downstream of a D-shaped orifice in presence or absence of the anterior leaflet in various physiological stroke ratios. The results of the statistical analysis indicate that the formed vortex ring downstream of a D-shaped orifice is markedly non-axisymmetric, and presence of the anterior leaflet improves the ring's axisymmetry. This study suggests that the improvement of axisymmetry in presence of the anterior leaflet might be due to coupled dynamic interaction between rolling-up of the shear layer at the edges of the D-shaped orifice and the borders of the anterior leaflet. This interaction can reduce the non-uniformity in vorticity generation, which results in more axisymmetric behavior compared to the D-shaped orifice without the anterior leaflet.

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