The functional assessment of a hemodynamic significant stenosis base on blood pressure variation has been applied for evaluation of the myocardial ischemic event. This functional assessment shows great potential for improving the accuracy of the classification of the severity of carotid stenosis. To explore the value of grading the stenosis using a pressure gradient (PG)—we had reconstructed patient-specific carotid geometries based on MRI images—computational fluid dynamics were performed to analyze the PG in their stenotic arteries. Doppler ultrasound image data and the corresponding MRI image data of 19 patients with carotid stenosis were collected. Based on these, 31 stenotic carotid arterial geometries were reconstructed. A combinatorial boundary condition method was implemented for steady-state computer fluid dynamics simulations. Anatomic parameters, including tortuosity (T), the angle of bifurcation, and the cross-sectional area of the remaining lumen, were collected to investigate the effect on the pressure distribution. The PG is highly correlated with the severe stenosis (r = 0.902), whereas generally, the T and the angle of the bifurcation negatively correlate to the pressure drop of the internal carotid artery stenosis. The calculation required <10 min/case, which made it prepared for the fast diagnosis of the severe stenosis. According to the results, we had proposed a potential threshold value for distinguishing severe stenosis from mild-moderate stenosis (PG = 0.88). In conclusion, the PG could serve as the additional factor for improving the accuracy of grading the severity of the stenosis.
- carotid artery bifurcation
- pressure gradient
- computational simulation
- patient-specific geometry
- Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society
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