Many end-stage heart failure patients are not eligible to undergo heart transplantation due to organ shortage, and even those under consideration for transplantation might suffer long waiting periods. A better understanding of the hemodynamic impact of left ventricular assist devices (LVAD) on the cardiovascular system is therefore of great interest. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations give the opportunity to study the hemodynamics in this patient population using clinical imaging data such as computed tomographic angiography. This article reviews a recent study series involving patients with pulsatile and constant-flow LVAD devices in which CFD simulations were used to qualitatively and quantitatively assess blood flow dynamics in the thoracic aorta, demonstrating its potential to enhance the information available from medical imaging.
Keywords: computational fluid dynamics; heart failure; left ventricular assist device.