Combined computational and experimental approach to improve the assessment of mitral regurgitation by echocardiography

Ann Biomed Eng. 2014 May;42(5):971-85. doi: 10.1007/s10439-013-0968-2. Epub 2014 Jan 8.


Mitral regurgitation (MR) is one of the most frequent valvular heart diseases. To assess MR severity, color Doppler imaging (CDI) is the clinical standard. However, inadequate reliability, poor reproducibility and heavy user-dependence are known limitations. A novel approach combining computational and experimental methods is currently under development aiming to improve the quantification. A flow chamber for a circulatory flow loop was developed. Three different orifices were used to mimic variations of MR. The flow field was recorded simultaneously by a 2D Doppler ultrasound transducer and Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV). Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations were conducted using the same geometry and boundary conditions. The resulting computed velocity field was used to simulate synthetic Doppler signals. Comparison between PIV and CFD shows a high level of agreement. The simulated CDI exhibits the same characteristics as the recorded color Doppler images. The feasibility of the proposed combination of experimental and computational methods for the investigation of MR is shown and the numerical methods are successfully validated against the experiments. Furthermore, it is discussed how the approach can be used in the long run as a platform to improve the assessment of MR quantification.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Echocardiography
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Mitral Valve Insufficiency / diagnosis*
  • Rheology
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler