Wall shear stress (WSS) has been shown to be associated with myocardial infarction (MI) and progression of atherosclerosis. Wall elasticity is an important feature of hemodynamic modeling affecting WSS calculations. The objective of this study was to investigate the role of wall elasticity on WSS, and justify use of either rigid or elastic models in future studies. Digital anatomic models of the aorta and coronaries were created based on coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) in four patients. Hemodynamics was computed in rigid and elastic models using a finite element flow solver. WSS in five timepoints in the cardiac cycle and time averaged wall shear stress (TAWSS) were compared between the models at each 3 mm subsegment and 4 arcs in cross sections along the centerlines of coronaries. In the left main (LM), proximal left anterior descending (LAD), left circumflex (LCX), and proximal right coronary artery (RCA) of the elastic model, the mean percent radial increase 5.95 ± 1.25, 4.02 ± 0.97, 4.08 ± 0.94, and 4.84 ± 1.05%, respectively. WSS at each timepoint in the cardiac cycle had slightly different values; however, when averaged over the cardiac cycle, there were negligible differences between the models. In both the subsegments (n = 704) and subarc analysis, TAWSS in the two models were highly correlated (r = 0.99). In investigation on the effect of coronary wall elasticity on WSS in CCTA-based models, the results of this study show no significant differences in TAWSS justifying using rigid wall models for future larger studies.
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