On the impact of modelling assumptions in multi-scale, subject-specific models of aortic haemodynamics

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Simulation of haemodynamics has become increasingly popular within the research community. Irrespective of the modelling approach (zero-dimensional (0D), one-dimensional (1D) or three-dimensional (3D)), in vivo measurements are required to personalize the arterial geometry, material properties and boundary conditions of the computational model. Limitations in in vivo data acquisition often result in insufficient information to determine all model parameters and, hence, arbitrary modelling assumptions. Our goal was to minimize and understand the impact of modelling assumptions on the simulated blood pressure, flow and luminal area waveforms by studying a small region of the systemic vasculature-the upper aorta-and acquiring a rich array of non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging and tonometry data from a young healthy volunteer. We first investigated the effect of different modelling assumptions for boundary conditions and material parameters in a 1D/0D simulation framework. Strategies were implemented to mitigate the impact of inconsistencies in the in vivo data. Average relative errors smaller than 7% were achieved between simulated and in vivo waveforms. Similar results were obtained in a 3D/0D simulation framework using the same inflow and outflow boundary conditions and consistent geometrical and mechanical properties. We demonstrated that accurate subject-specific 1D/0D and 3D/0D models of aortic haemodynamics can be obtained using non-invasive clinical data while minimizing the number of arbitrary modelling decisions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Royal Society, Interface / the Royal Society
Issue number119
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2016


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