A study on the compliance of a right coronary artery and its impact on wall shear stress

J Biomech Eng. 2008 Aug;130(4):041014. doi: 10.1115/1.2937744.


A computational model incorporating physiological motion and uniform transient wall deformation of a branchless right coronary artery (RCA) was developed to assess the influence of artery compliance on wall shear stress (WSS). Arterial geometry and deformation were derived from modern medical imaging techniques, whereas the blood flow was solved numerically employing a moving-grid approach using a well-validated in-house finite element code. The simulation results indicate that artery compliance affects the WSS in the RCA heterogeneously, with the distal region mostly experiencing these effects. Under physiological inflow conditions, coronary compliance contributed to phase changes in the WSS time history, without affecting the temporal gradient of the local WSS nor the bounds of the WSS magnitude. Compliance does not cause considerable changes to the topology of WSS vector patterns nor to the localization of WSS minima along the RCA. We conclude that compliance is not an important factor affecting local hemodynamics in the proximal region of the RCA while the influence of compliance in the distal region needs to be evaluated in conjunction with the outflow to the myocardium through the major branches of the RCA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Flow Velocity / physiology*
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Coronary Circulation / physiology*
  • Coronary Vessels / physiology*
  • Elasticity
  • Humans
  • Models, Cardiovascular*
  • Shear Strength
  • Stress, Mechanical