A boundary layer model for wall shear stress in arterial stenosis

Paolo P. Provenzano, Christopher J. Rutland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This paper proposes a model for wall shear stress in arterial stenosis based on boundary layer theory. Wall shear stress estimates are obtained by solving the momentum integral equation using the method proposed by Walz and applying this method to various stenosis geometries for Reynolds numbers (Re) of Re = 59-1000. Elevated wall shear stress may be of importance when considering thrombosis and vascular erosion in stenosis, as well as the potential for debris from the stenotic area to 'break away' and cause further pathology. The values of shear stress obtained using the model in this study agree well with published values of wall shear stress. When compared to a previously published boundary layer model utilizing the Thwaites method (Reese and Thompson, 1998), the model proposed herein performs better at higher Re while the model utilizing the Thwaites method performs better at lower Re. Wall shear stresses are shown to increase with increasing stenosis (increased area reduction) for a given stenosis length, increase with increasing Re for a given stenosis geometry, and increase for steeper stenosis of the same constriction. The boundary layer model proposed can be easily implemented by clinical researchers to provide in vivo estimates of wall shear stress through arterial stenoses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)743-754
Number of pages12
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002


  • Arterial stenosis
  • Boundary layer theory
  • Wall shear stress


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