Impact of side branches on the computation of fractional flow in intracranial arterial stenosis using the computational fluid dynamics method
Liu H., Lan L., Leng X., Ip HL., Leung TWH., Wang D., Wong KS.
BACKGROUND: Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) allows noninvasive fractional flow (FF) computation in intracranial arterial stenosis. Removal of small artery branches is necessary in CFD simulation. The consequent effects on FF value needs to be judged. METHODS: An idealized vascular model was built with 70% focal luminal stenosis. A branch with one third or one half of the radius of the parent vessel was added at a distance of 5, 10, 15 and 20 mm to the lesion. With pressure and flow rate applied as inlet and outlet boundary conditions, CFD simulations were performed. Flow distribution at bifurcations followed Murray's law. By including or removing side branches, five patient-specific intracranial artery models were simulated. Transient simulation was performed on a patient-specific model, with a larger branch for validation. Branching effect was considered trivial if the FF difference between paired models (branches included or removed) was within 5%. RESULTS: Compared with the control model without a branch, in all idealized models the relative differences of FF was within 2%. In five pairs of cerebral arteries (branches included/removed), FFs were 0.876 and 0.877, 0.853 and 0.858, 0.874 and 0.869, 0.865 and 0.858, 0.952 and 0.948. The relative difference in each pair was less than 1%. In transient model, the relative difference of FF was 3.5%. CONCLUSION: The impact of removing side branches with radius less than 50% of the parent vessel on FF measurement accuracy is negligible in static CFD simulations, and minor in transient CFD simulation.