Fluid–Structure Interaction Simulations of Patient-Specific Aortic Dissection

Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology Manuscript
Authors Kathrin Bäumler, Vijay Vedula, Anna M. Sailer, Jongmin Seo, Peter Chiu, Gabriel Mistelbauer, Frandics P. Chan, Michael P. Fischbein, Alison L. Marsden & Dominik Fleischmann

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