The impact of aortic arch geometry on flow characteristics

Authors: Prahl Wittberg, L., van Wyk, S.v.W., Mihaescu, M, Fuchs, L.F., Gutmark, E., Backeljauw, P., Gutmark-Little, I.
Document Type: Conference
Pubstate: Published
Journal: 51st AIAA Aerospace Science Meeting, Jan 2-10, 2013, Dallas, Texas, USA
Year: 2013


Cardiovascular defects characterized by geometrical anomalies of the aorta and its effect on the blood flow is the focus of this study. Not only are the local flow characteristics geometry dependent, but they are also directly connected to the rheological properties of blood. Flow characteristics such as wall shear stress are often postulated to play a central role in the development of vascular disease. In this study, blood is considered to be a non-Newtonian fluid and modeled via the Quemada model, an empirical model that is valid for different red blood cell loading. Three patient-specific geometries of the aortic arch are investigated numerically. The three geometries investigated in this study all display malformations that are prevalent in patients having the genetic disorder Turner syndrome. The results show a highly complex flow with regions of secondary flow that are enhanced in two of the three aortas. Moreover, blood flow is clearly diverted due to the malformations, moving to a larger extent through the branches of the arch instead of through the descending aorta. The geometry having an elongated transverse aorta is found to be subjected to larger areas of highly oscillatory low wall shear stress.