Credible computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulations of aortic dissection are challenging, because the defining parallel flow channels-the true and the false lumen-are separated from each other by a more or less mobile dissection membrane, which is made up of a delaminated portion of the elastic aortic wall. We present a comprehensive numerical framework for CFD simulations of aortic dissection, which captures the complex interplay between physiologic deformation, flow, pressures, and time-averaged wall shear stress (TAWSS) in a patient-specific model. Our numerical model includes (1) two-way fluid-structure interaction (FSI) to describe the dynamic deformation of the vessel wall and dissection flap; (2) prestress and (3) external tissue support of the structural domain to avoid unphysiologic dilation of the aortic wall and stretching of the dissection flap; (4) tethering of the aorta by intercostal and lumbar arteries to restrict translatory motion of the aorta; and a (5) independently defined elastic modulus for the dissection flap and the outer vessel wall to account for their different material properties. The patient-specific aortic geometry is derived from computed tomography angiography (CTA). Three-dimensional phase contrast magnetic resonance imaging (4D flow MRI) and the patient's blood pressure are used to inform physiologically realistic, patient-specific boundary conditions. Our simulations closely capture the cyclical deformation of the dissection membrane, with flow simulations in good agreement with 4D flow MRI. We demonstrate that decreasing flap stiffness from [Formula: see text] to [Formula: see text] kPa (a) increases the displacement of the dissection flap from 1.4 to 13.4 mm, (b) decreases the surface area of TAWSS by a factor of 2.3, (c) decreases the mean pressure difference between true lumen and false lumen by a factor of 0.63, and (d) decreases the true lumen flow rate by up to 20% in the abdominal aorta. We conclude that the mobility of the dissection flap substantially influences local hemodynamics and therefore needs to be accounted for in patient-specific simulations of aortic dissection. Further research to accurately measure flap stiffness and its local variations could help advance future CFD applications.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s10237-020-01294-8
View details for PubMedID 31993829