Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a chronic progressive disease characterized by elevated pulmonary arterial pressure, caused by an increase in pulmonary arterial impedance. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) can be used to identify metrics representative of the stage of PH disease. However, experimental validation of CFD models is often not pursued due to the geometric complexity of the model or uncertainties in the reproduction of the required flow conditions. The goal of this work is to validate experimentally a CFD model of a pulmonary artery phantom using a particle image velocimetry (PIV) technique. Rapid prototyping was used for the construction of the patient-specific pulmonary geometry, derived from chest computed tomography angiography images. CFD simulations were performed with the pulmonary model with a Reynolds number matching those of the experiments. Flow rates, the velocity field, and shear stress distributions obtained with the CFD simulations were compared to their counterparts from the PIV flow visualization experiments. Computationally predicted flow rates were within 1% of the experimental measurements for three of the four branches of the CFD model. The mean velocities in four transversal planes of study were within 5.9 to 13.1% of the experimental mean velocities. Shear stresses were qualitatively similar between the two methods with some discrepancies in the regions of high velocity gradients. The fluid flow differences between the CFD model and the PIV phantom are attributed to experimental inaccuracies and the relative compliance of the phantom. This comparative analysis yielded valuable information on the accuracy of CFD predicted hemodynamics in pulmonary circulation models.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering