Morphometry-based impedance boundary conditions for patient-specific modeling of blood flow in pulmonary arteries

Ann Biomed Eng. 2007 Apr;35(4):546-59. doi: 10.1007/s10439-006-9240-3. Epub 2007 Feb 9.


Patient-specific computational models could aid in planning interventions to relieve pulmonary arterial stenoses common in many forms of congenital heart disease. We describe a new approach to simulate blood flow in subject-specific models of the pulmonary arteries that consists of a numerical model of the proximal pulmonary arteries created from three-dimensional medical imaging data with terminal impedance boundary conditions derived from linear wave propagation theory applied to morphometric models of distal vessels. A tuning method, employing numerical solution methods for nonlinear systems of equations, was developed to modify the distal vasculature to match measured pressure and flow distribution data. One-dimensional blood flow equations were solved with a finite element method in image-based pulmonary arterial models using prescribed inlet flow and morphometry-based impedance at the outlets. Application of these methods in a pilot study of the effect of removal of unilateral pulmonary arterial stenosis induced in a pig showed good agreement with experimental measurements for flow redistribution and main pulmonary arterial pressure. Next, these methods were applied to a patient with repaired tetralogy of Fallot and predicted insignificant hemodynamic improvement with relief of the stenosis. This method of coupling image-based and morphometry-based models could enable increased fidelity in pulmonary hemodynamic simulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Constriction, Pathologic / physiopathology
  • Finite Element Analysis
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Cardiovascular*
  • Pulmonary Artery / physiopathology*
  • Vascular Resistance*