Evaluating the roles of detailed endocardial structures on right ventricular haemodynamics by means of CFD simulations

Federica Sacco, Bruno Paun, Oriol Lehmkuhl, Tinen L. Iles, Paul A. Iaizzo, Guillaume Houzeaux, Mariano Vázquez, Constantine Butakoff, Jazmin Aguado-Sierra

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Computational modelling plays an important role in right ventricular (RV) haemodynamic analysis. However, current approaches use smoothed ventricular anatomies. The aim of this study is to characterise RV haemodynamics including detailed endocardial structures like trabeculae, moderator band, and papillary muscles. Four paired detailed and smoothed RV endocardium models (2 male and 2 female) were reconstructed from ex vivo human hearts high-resolution magnetic resonance images. Detailed models include structures with ≥1 mm2 cross-sectional area. Haemodynamic characterisation was done by computational fluid dynamics simulations with steady and transient inflows, using high-performance computing. The differences between the flows in smoothed and detailed models were assessed using Q-criterion for vorticity quantification, the pressure drop between inlet and outlet, and the wall shear stress. Results demonstrated that detailed endocardial structures increase the degree of intra-ventricular pressure drop, decrease the wall shear stress, and disrupt the dominant vortex creating secondary small vortices. Increasingly turbulent blood flow was observed in the detailed RVs. Female RVs were less trabeculated and presented lower pressure drops than the males. In conclusion, neglecting endocardial structures in RV haemodynamic models may lead to inaccurate conclusions about the pressures, stresses, and blood flow behaviour in the cavity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere3115
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This paper has been partially funded by CompBioMed project, under H2020-EU. European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, grant agreement n◦ 675451. FS is supported by a grant from Severo Ochoa (n◦ SEV-2015-0493-16-4), Spain. CB is supported by a grant from the Fundació LaMarató de TV3 (n◦ 20154031), Spain. TI and PI are supported by the Institute of Engineering in Medicine, USA, and the Lillehei Heart Institute, USA.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


  • CFD
  • HPC
  • endocardial structures
  • haemodynamics
  • right ventricle


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