The impact of 4D-Flow MRI spatial resolution on patient-specific CFD simulations of the thoracic aorta

Cherry, Molly and Khatir, Zinedine and Khan, Amirul and Bissell, Malenka (2022) The impact of 4D-Flow MRI spatial resolution on patient-specific CFD simulations of the thoracic aorta. Scientific Reports, 12 (15128). ISSN 2045-2322

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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is considered the gold standard of medical imaging technologies as it allows for accurate imaging of blood vessels. 4-Dimensional Flow Magnetic Resonance Imaging (4D-Flow MRI) is built on conventional MRI, and provides flow data in the three vector directions and a time resolved magnitude data set. As such it can be used to retrospectively calculate haemodynamic parameters of interest, such as Wall Shear Stress (WSS). However, multiple studies have indicated that a significant limitation of the imaging technique is the spatiotemporal resolution that is currently available. Recent advances have proposed and successfully integrated 4D-Flow MRI imaging techniques with Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to produce patient-specific simulations that have the potential to aid in treatments,surgical decision making, and risk stratification. However, the consequences of using insufficient 4D-Flow MRI spatial resolutions on any patient-specific CFD simulations is currently unclear, despite being a recognised limitation. The research presented in this study aims to quantify the inaccuracies in patient-specific 4D-Flow MRI based CFD simulations that can be attributed to insufficient spatial resolutions when acquiring 4D-Flow MRI data. For this research, a patient has undergone four 4D-Flow MRI scans acquired at various isotropic spatial resolutions and patient-specific CFD simulations have subsequently been run using geometry and velocity data produced from each scan. It was found that compared to CFD simulations based on a 1.5mm×1.5mm×1.5mm, using a spatial resolution of 4mm×4mm×4mm substantially underestimated the maximum velocity magnitude at peak systole by 110.55%. The impacts of 4D-Flow MRI spatial resolution on WSS calculated from CFD simulations have been investigated and it has been shown that WSS is underestimated in CFD simulations that are based on a coarse 4D-Flow MRI spatial resolution. The authors have concluded that a minimum 4D-Flow MRI spatial resolution of 1.5mm×1.5mm×1.5mm must be used when acquiring 4D-Flow MRI data to perform patient-specific CFD simulations. A coarser spatial resolution will produce substantial differences within the flow field and geometry.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
29 August 2022Accepted
6 September 2022Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Biomedical engineering, Computational models
Subjects: CAH00 - multidisciplinary > CAH00-00 - multidisciplinary > CAH00-00-00 - multidisciplinary
CAH01 - medicine and dentistry > CAH01-01 - medicine and dentistry > CAH01-01-03 - medicine by specialism
CAH10 - engineering and technology > CAH10-01 - engineering > CAH10-01-02 - mechanical engineering
Divisions: Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment > School of Engineering and the Built Environment > Dept. of Engineering
Depositing User: Zinedine Khatir
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2023 14:40
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2023 14:40

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