Computational fluid dynamics simulations of blood flow regularized by 3D phase contrast MRI

Vinicius C Rispoli, Jon Nielsen, Krishna S Nayak, Joao L A Carvalho

61 Citationer (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Phase contrast magnetic resonance imaging (PC-MRI) is used clinically for quantitative assessment of cardiovascular flow and function, as it is capable of providing directly-measured 3D velocity maps. Alternatively, vascular flow can be estimated from model-based computation fluid dynamics (CFD) calculations. CFD provides arbitrarily high resolution, but its accuracy hinges on model assumptions, while velocity fields measured with PC-MRI generally do not satisfy the equations of fluid dynamics, provide limited resolution, and suffer from partial volume effects. The purpose of this study is to develop a proof-of-concept numerical procedure for constructing a simulated flow field that is influenced by both direct PC-MRI measurements and a fluid physics model, thereby taking advantage of both the accuracy of PC-MRI and the high spatial resolution of CFD. The use of the proposed approach in regularizing 3D flow fields is evaluated.

METHODS: The proposed algorithm incorporates both a Newtonian fluid physics model and a linear PC-MRI signal model. The model equations are solved numerically using a modified CFD algorithm. The numerical solution corresponds to the optimal solution of a generalized Tikhonov regularization, which provides a flow field that satisfies the flow physics equations, while being close enough to the measured PC-MRI velocity profile. The feasibility of the proposed approach is demonstrated on data from the carotid bifurcation of one healthy volunteer, and also from a pulsatile carotid flow phantom.

RESULTS: The proposed solver produces flow fields that are in better agreement with direct PC-MRI measurements than CFD alone, and converges faster, while closely satisfying the fluid dynamics equations. For the implementation that provided the best results, the signal-to-error ratio (with respect to the PC-MRI measurements) in the phantom experiment was 6.56 dB higher than that of conventional CFD; in the in vivo experiment, it was 2.15 dB higher.

CONCLUSIONS: The proposed approach allows partial or complete measurements to be incorporated into a modified CFD solver, for improving the accuracy of the resulting flow fields estimates. This can be used for reducing scan time, increasing the spatial resolution, and/or denoising the PC-MRI measurements.

TidsskriftBioMedical Engineering Online
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)110
StatusUdgivet - 2015


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