Numerical and experimental investigation of pulsatile hemodynamics in the total cavopulmonary connection

Elaine Tang, Christopher M. Haggerty, Reza H. Khiabani, Diane de Zélicourt, Jessica Kanter, Fotis Sotiropoulos, Mark A. Fogel, Ajit P. Yoganathan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tools have been extensively applied to study the hemodynamics in the total cavopulmonary connection (TCPC) in patients with only a single functioning ventricle. Without the contraction of a sub-pulmonary ventricle, pulsatility of flow through this connection is low and variable across patients, which is usually neglected in most numerical modeling studies. Recent studies suggest that such pulsatility can be non-negligible and can be important in hemodynamic predictions. The goal of this work is to compare the results of an in-house numerical methodology for simulating pulsatile TCPC flow with experimental results. Digital particle image velocimetry (DPIV) was acquired on TCPC in vitro models to evaluate the capability of the CFD tool in predicting pulsatile TCPC flow fields. In vitro hemodynamic measurements were used to compare the numerical prediction of power loss across the connection. The results demonstrated the complexity of the pulsatile TCPC flow fields and the validity of the numerical approach in simulating pulsatile TCPC flow dynamics in both idealized and complex patient specific models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-382
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 18 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Grants HL67622 and R01HL098252 , and a Pre-Doctoral Fellowship Award for C. Haggerty (10PRE3720002) from the American Heart Association.


  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Digital particle image velocimetry
  • Fontan procedure
  • In vitro validation


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