Analysis of Inlet Velocity Profiles in Numerical Assessment of Fontan Hemodynamics
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Computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulations are widely utilized to assess Fontan hemodynamics that are related to long-term complications. No previous studies have systemically investigated the effects of using different inlet velocity profiles in Fontan simulations. This study implements real, patient-specific velocity profiles for numerical assessment of Fontan hemodynamics using CFD simulations. Four additional, artificial velocity profiles were used for comparison: (1) flat, (2) parabolic, (3) Womersley, and (4) parabolic with inlet extensions [to develop flow before entering the total cavopulmonary connection (TCPC)]. The differences arising from the five velocity profiles, as well as discrepancies between the real and each of the artificial velocity profiles, were quantified by examining clinically important metrics in TCPC hemodynamics: power loss (PL), viscous dissipation rate (VDR), hepatic flow distribution, and regions of low wall shear stress. Statistically significant differences were observed in PL and VDR between simulations using real and flat velocity profiles, but differences between those using real velocity profiles and the other three artificial profiles did not reach statistical significance. These conclusions suggest that the artificial velocity profiles (2)–(4) are acceptable surrogates for real velocity profiles in Fontan simulations, but parabolic profiles are recommended because of their low computational demands and prevalent applicability.
KeywordsComputational fluid dynamics Fontan hemodynamics Inlet velocity profiles
This study was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Grants HL67622 and HL098252 and the Petit Undergraduate Research Scholarship from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Also, the authors acknowledge the use of ANSYS software which was provided through an Academic Partnership between ANSYS, Inc. and the Cardiovascular Fluid Mechanics Lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
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