Introduction: The study examined the behavior of vasculature in conditions of eliminated cardiac function using mathematical modeling. In addition, we addressed the question of whether the stretch-recoil capability of veins, at least in part accounts for the slower response to simulated cardiac arrest. Methods: In the first set of computational experiments, blood flow and pressure patterns in veins and arteries during the first few seconds after cardiac arrest were assessed via a validated multi-scale mathematical model of the whole cardiovascular system, comprising cardiac dynamics, arterial and venous blood flow dynamics, and microcirculation. In the second set of experiments, the effects of stretch-recoil zones of venous vessels with different diameters and velocities on blood velocity and dynamic pressure analyzed using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling. Results: In the first set of experiments, measurement of changes in velocity, dynamic pressure, and fluid flow revealed that the venous system responded to cardiac arrest more slowly compared to the arteries. This disparity might be due to the intrinsic characteristics of the venous system, including stretch-recoil and elastic fiber composition. In the second set of experiments, we attempted to determine the role of the stretch-recoil capability of veins in the slower response to cardiac arrest. During the second set of experiments, we found that this recoil behavior increased dynamic pressure, velocity, and blood flow. The enhancement in dynamic pressure through combining the results from both experiments yielded a 15-40% increase in maximum dynamic pressure due to stretch-recoil, depending on vein diameter under normal conditions. Conclusion: In the situation of cardiac arrest, the vein geometry changes continue, promoting smooth responses of the venous system. Moreover, the importance of such vein behavior in blood displacement may grow as the pressure on the venous side gradually decreases with time. Our experiments suggest that the driving force for venous return is the pressure difference that remains within the venous system after the energy coming from every ventricular systole spent to overcome the resistance created by arterial and capillary systems.
Keywords: Blood flow; CFD; Stretch-recoil; Venous system.
© 2021 The Author(s).