Fluid mechanics of arterial stenosis: Relationship to the development of mural thrombus

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Mechanical Engineering


In this study, we analyzed blood flow through a model stenosis with Reynolds numbers ranging from 300 to 3,600 using both experimental and numerical methods. The jet produced at the throat was turbulent, leading to an axisymmetric region of slowly recirculating flow. For higher Reynolds numbers, this region became more disturbed and its length was reduced. The numerical predictions were confirmed by digital particle image velocimetry and used to describe the fluid dynamics mechanisms relevant to prior measurements of platelet deposition in canine blood flow (R. T. Schoephoerster et al., Atherosclerosis and Thrombosis 12:1806-1813, 1993). Actual deposition onto the wall was dependent on the wall shear stress distribution along the stenosis, increasing in areas of flow recirculation and reattachment. Platelet activation potential was analyzed under laminar and turbulent flow conditions in terms of the cumulative effect of the varying shear and elongational stresses, and the duration platelets are exposed to them along individual platelet paths. The cumulative product of shear rate and exposure time along a platelet path reached a value of 500. half the value needed for platelet activation under constant shear.



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Annals of Biomedical Engineering


At the time of publication, Richard T. Schoephoerster was affiliated with Florida International University.

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