Modeling the Left Heart: Finite Element Analysis and Fluid Structure Interaction Simulation on Mitral Regurgitation Patient Images
Geil, Hannah Danielle
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Mitral regurgitation affects over two million people in the US and can lead to heart failure, so research is needed to predict, diagnose, and treat this valvular disease. Thus, cardiac modeling in vitro includes mathematical, automated, and image-based models. Mathematical modeling requires assumptions that make it less accurate, and it takes too long to conduct to be clinically relevant. Automated modeling is faster but generally untrusted in the field. Image-based models are often patient specific and accurate but are rarely combined with computational models. Due to a need for an accurate and comprehensive model, this study used image-based modeling techniques and computational simulations of blood flow. Patient-specific images were used to create a three-dimensional model of the left heart. After segmentation, meshing, and defining boundary conditions, the model was run though a finite element analysis and a fluid structure interaction simulation. Nodes were then quantified to understand how the heart responded to simulation. Results showed that as pressure increased, stress and strain increased, and regurgitation area decreased. The results of this study have direct clinical applications; physicians can use the models as a guide when making decisions regarding diagnoses or surgical treatment.