Optimization of topological complexity for one-dimensional arterial blood flow models

Fredrik E. Fossan, Jorge Mariscal-Harana, Jordi Alastruey*, Leif R. Hellevik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
146 Downloads (Pure)


As computational models of the cardiovascular system are applied in modern personalized medicine, maximizing certainty of model input becomes crucial. A model with a high number of arterial segments results in a more realistic description of the system, but also requires a high number of parameters with associated uncertainties. In this paper, we present a method to optimize/reduce the number of arterial segments included in one-dimensional blood flow models, while preserving key features of flow and pressure waveforms. We quantify the preservation of key flow features for the optimal network with respect to the baseline networks (a 96-artery and a patient-specific coronary network) by various metrics and quantities like average relative error, pulse pressure and augmentation pressure. Furthermore, various physiological and pathological states are considered. For the aortic root and larger systemic artery pressure waveforms a network with minimal description of lower and upper limb arteries and no cerebral arteries, sufficiently captures important features such as pressure augmentation and pulse pressure. Discrepancies in carotid and middle cerebral artery flow waveforms that are introduced by describing the arterial system in a minimalistic manner are small compared with errors related to uncertainties in blood flow measurements obtained by ultrasound.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20180546
JournalJournal of the Royal Society Interface
Issue number149
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2018


  • computational instantaneous wave-free ratio
  • haemodynamics
  • model optimization
  • model reduction
  • one-dimensional blood flow
  • pulse wave analysis


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