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  • Journal article
    Wang K, Armour CH, Gibbs RGJ, Xu XYet al., 2024,

    A numerical study of the effect of thrombus breakdown on predicted thrombus formation and growth

    , Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology, Vol: 23, Pages: 61-71, ISSN: 1617-7940

    Thrombosis is a complex biological process which involves many biochemical reactions and is influenced by blood flow. Various computational models have been developed to simulate natural thrombosis in diseases such as aortic dissection (AD), and device-induced thrombosis in blood-contacting biomedical devices. While most hemodynamics-based models consider the role of low shear stress in the initiation and growth of thrombus, they often ignore the effect of thrombus breakdown induced by elevated shear stress. In this study, a new shear stress-induced thrombus breakdown function is proposed and implemented in our previously published thrombosis model. The performance of the refined model is assessed by quantitative comparison with experimental data on thrombus formation in a backward-facing step geometry, and qualitative comparison with in vivo data obtained from an AD patient. Our results show that incorporating thrombus breakdown improves accuracy in predicted thrombus volume and captures the same pattern of thrombus evolution as measured experimentally and in vivo. In the backward-facing step geometry, thrombus breakdown impedes growth over the step and downstream, allowing a stable thrombus to be reached more quickly. Moreover, the predicted thrombus volume, height and length are in better agreement with the experimental measurements compared to the original model which does not consider thrombus breakdown. In the patient-specific AD, the refined model outperforms the original model in predicting the extent and location of thrombosis. In conclusion, the effect of thrombus breakdown is not negligible and should be included in computational models of thrombosis.

  • Journal article
    Wang K, Armour C, Ma T, Dong Z, Xu Xet al., 2023,

    Hemodynamic parameters impact the stability of distal stent graft-induced new entry

    , Scientific Reports, Vol: 13, Pages: 1-11, ISSN: 2045-2322

    Stent graft-induced new entry tear (SINE) is a serious complication in aortic dissection patients caused by the stent-graft itself after thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR). The stability of SINE is a key indicator for the need and timing of reinterventions. This study aimed to understand the role of hemodynamics in SINE stability by means of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis based on patient-specific anatomical information. Four patients treated with TEVAR who developed a distal SINE (dSINE) were included; two patients had a stable dSINE and two patients experienced expansion of the dSINE upon follow-up examinations. CFD simulations were performed on geometries reconstructed from computed tomography scans acquired upon early detection of dSINE in these patients. Computational results showed that stable dSINEs presented larger regions with low time-averaged wall shear stress (TAWSS) and high relative residence time (RRT), and partial thrombosis was observed at subsequent follow-ups. Furthermore, significant systolic antegrade flow was observed in the unstable dSINE which also had a larger retrograde flow fraction (RFF) on the SINE plane. In conclusion, this pilot study suggested that high RRT and low TAWSS may indicate stable dSINE by promoting thrombosis, whereas larger RFF and antegrade flows inside dSINE might be associated with its expansion.

  • Journal article
    Wong HS, Li B, Tulzer A, Tulzer G, Yap CHet al., 2023,

    Fluid Mechanical Effects of Fetal Aortic Valvuloplasty for Cases of Critical Aortic Stenosis with Evolving Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.

    , Ann Biomed Eng, Vol: 51, Pages: 1485-1498

    Fetuses with critical aortic stenosis (FAS) are at high risk of progression to HLHS by the time of birth (and are thus termed "evolving HLHS"). An in-utero catheter-based intervention, fetal aortic valvuloplasty (FAV), has shown promise as an intervention strategy to circumvent the progression, but its impact on the heart's biomechanics is not well understood. We performed patient-specific computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulations based on 4D fetal echocardiography to assess the changes in the fluid mechanical environment in the FAS left ventricle (LV) directly before and 2 days after FAV. Echocardiograms of five FAS cases with technically successful FAV were retrospectively analysed. FAS compromised LV stroke volume and ejection fraction, but FAV rescued it significantly. Calculations to match simulations to clinical measurements showed that FAV approximately doubled aortic valve orifice area, but it remained much smaller than in healthy hearts. Diseased LVs had mildly stenotic mitral valves, which generated fast and narrow diastolic mitral inflow jet and vortex rings that remained unresolved directly after FAV. FAV further caused aortic valve damage and high-velocity regurgitation. The high-velocity aortic regurgitation jet and vortex ring caused a chaotic flow field upon impinging the apex, which drastically exacerbated the already high energy losses and poor flow energy efficiency of FAS LVs. Two days after the procedure, FAV did not alter wall shear stress (WSS) spatial patterns of diseased LV but elevated WSS magnitudes, and the poor blood turnover in pre-FAV LVs did not significantly improve directly after FAV. FAV improved FAS LV's flow function, but it also led to highly chaotic flow patterns and excessively high energy losses due to the introduction of aortic regurgitation directly after the intervention. Further studies analysing the effects several weeks after FAV are needed to understand the effects of such biomechanics on morpho

  • Journal article
    Yang Y, Gu B, Xu X, 2023,

    In silico study of different thrombolytic agents for fibrinolysis in acute ischemic stroke

    , Pharmaceutics, Vol: 15, Pages: 1-14, ISSN: 1999-4923

    Alteplase is the only FDA-approved drug for thrombolysis in acute ischemic stroke (AIS). Meanwhile, several thrombolytic drugs are deemed to be promising candidates to substitute alteplase. This paper evaluates the efficacy and safety of urokinase, ateplase, tenecteplase, and reteplase for intravenous AIS therapy by computational simulations of the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics combined with a local fibrinolysis model. The performances of the drugs are evaluated by comparing clot lysis time, plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI) inhibition resistance, intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) risk, and activation time from drug administration to clot lysis. Our results reveal that urokinase has the quickest lysis completion but the highest ICH risk due to excess fibrinogen depletion in systemic plasma. While tenecteplase and alteplase have very similar thrombolysis efficacy, tenecteplase has a lower risk of ICH and better resistance to PAI-1. Among the four simulated drugs, reteplase has the slowest fibrinolysis rate, but fibrinogen concentration in systemic plasma is unaffected during thrombolysis.

  • Journal article
    Sengupta S, Zhu Y, Hamady M, Xu Xet al., 2022,

    Evaluating the haemodynamic performance of endografts for complex aortic arch repair

    , Bioengineering, Vol: 9, ISSN: 2306-5354

    Thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) of aortic aneurysms and dissections involving the arch has evolved over the last two decades. Compared to conventional surgical methods, endovascular repair offers a less invasive treatment option with lower risk and faster recovery. Endografts used in TEVAR vary in design depending on the procedure and application. Novel endografts (e.g., branched stent-graft) were developed to ensure perfusion of blood to the supra-aortic vessels, but their haemodynamic performance and long-term durability have not been adequately studied. This review focuses on the use of computational modelling to study haemodynamics in commercially available endografts designed for complex aortic arch repair. First, we summarise the currently adopted workflow for computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling, including geometry reconstruction, boundary conditions, flow models, and haemodynamic metrics of interest. This is followed by a review of recently (2010-present) published CFD studies on complex aortic arch repair, using both idealized and patient-specific models. Finally, we introduce some of the promising techniques that can be potentially applied to predict post-operative outcomes.

  • Journal article
    Manchester E, Pirola S, Salmasi MY, O'Regan D, Athanasiou T, Xu Xet al., 2022,

    Evaluation of computational methodologies for accurate prediction of wall shear stress and turbulence parameters in a patient-specific aorta

    , Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, Vol: 10, ISSN: 2296-4185

    Background: Recent studies suggest that blood flow in main arteries is intrinsically disturbed, even under healthy conditions. Despite this, many computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analyses of aortic haemodynamics make the assumption of laminar flow, and best practices surroundingappropriate modelling choices are lacking. This study aims to address this gap by evaluating different modelling and post-processing approaches in simulations of a patient-specific aorta. Methods: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and 4D flow MRI from a patient with aortic valve stenosis were used to reconstruct the aortic geometry and derive patient-specific inlet and outlet boundary conditions. Three different computational approaches were considered based on assumed laminar or assumed disturbed flow states including low-resolution laminar (LR-laminar),high-resolution laminar (HR-Laminar) and large-eddy simulation (LES). Each simulation was ran for 30 cardiac cycles and post-processing was conducted on either the final cardiac cycle, or using a phase-averaged approach which utilised all 30 simulated cycles. Model capabilities were evaluated in terms of mean and turbulence-based parameters. Results: All simulation types, regardless of post-processing approach could correctly predict velocity values and flow patterns throughout the aorta. Lower resolution simulations could not accurately predict gradient-derived parameters including wall shear stress and viscous energy loss (largest differences up to 44.6% and 130.3%, respectively), although phase-averagingthese parameters improved predictions. The HR-Laminar simulation produced more comparable results to LES with largest differences in wall shear stress and viscous energy loss parameters up to 5.1% and 11.6%, respectively. Laminar-based parameters were better estimated thanturbulence-based parameters.Conclusions: Our findings suggest that well-resolved laminar simulations can accurately predict many laminar-based parameters in disturbed flo

  • Journal article
    Gu B, Huang Y, Manchester E, Hughes A, Thom S, Chen R, Xu XYet al., 2022,

    Multiphysics modelling and simulation of thrombolysis via activated platelet-targeted nanomedicine

    , Pharmaceutical Research, Vol: 39, Pages: 41-56, ISSN: 0724-8741

    Purpose:This study establishes a multiphysics simulation platform for both conventional and targeted thrombolysis using tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). Based on our computational results, the effects of therapeutic parameters on the dynamics of thrombolysis and the risk of side effects are investigated.Methods:The model extends our previously developed one-dimensional(1D) mathematical models for fibrinolysis by incorporating targeted thrombolysis. It consists of two parts: (i) a coupled mathematical model of systemic pharmacokinetics (PK) and pharmacodynamics (PD) and local PD in a 1D occluded artery, and (ii) a mechanistic model for a targeted thrombolytic system via activated platelet-targeted tPA-loaded nanovesicles (tPA-NV), with model parameters derived from our in vitro experiments. A total of 16 therapeutic scenarios are simulated by varying the clot location and composition as well as the dosing regimen with free tPA or tPA-NV.Results:Our simulation results indicate that tPA-NV offers several advantages over free tPA for thrombolysis. It reduces systemic exposure of tPA, thereby minimising the risk of bleeding complications. Simulations with different tPA-NV doses reveal that tPA-NV at 10% of the recommended dose can be as effective as the standard regimen with the full recommended dose of free tPA, demonstrating the potential of our tPA-NV as a new thrombolytic strategy with a reduced tPA dose. Moreover, faster recanalisation can be achieved with tPA-NV, especially for platelet-rich(or fibrin-poor) clots.Conclusions:Our simulation platform for thrombolysis with well-tuned model parameters can be used to evaluate and optimise treatment regimens of existing and new thrombolytic therapies via benefit/risk assessment under various therapeutic scenarios.

  • Journal article
    Sengupta S, Hamady M, Xu X-Y, 2022,

    Haemodynamic analysis of branched endografts for complex aortic arch repair

    , Bioengineering, Vol: 9, Pages: 1-17, ISSN: 2306-5354

    This study aims to investigate the haemodynamic response induced by implantation of a double-branched endograft used in thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) of the aortic arch. Anatomically realistic models were reconstructed from CT images obtained from patients who underwent TEVAR using the RelayPlus double-branched endograft implanted in the aortic arch. Two cases (Patient 1, Patient 2) were included here, both patients presented with type A aortic dissection before TEVAR. To examine the influence of inner tunnel branch diameters on localised flow patterns, three tunnel branch diameters were tested using the geometric model reconstructed for Patient 1. Pulsatile blood flow through the models was simulated by numerically solving the Navier–Stokes equations along with a transitional flow model. The physiological boundary conditions were imposed at the model inlet and outlets, while the wall was assumed to be rigid. Our simulation results showed that the double-branched endograft allowed for the sufficient perfusion of blood to the supra-aortic branches and restored flow patterns expected in normal aortas. The diameter of tunnel branches in the device plays a crucial role in the development of flow downstream of the branches and thus must be selected carefully based on the overall geometry of the vessel. Given the importance of wall shear stress in vascular remodelling and thrombus formation, longitudinal studies should be performed in the future in order to elucidate the role of tunnel branch diameters in long-term patency of the supra-aortic branches following TEVAR with the double-branched endograft.

  • Journal article
    Manchester E, Roi D, Gu B, Xu X, Lobotesis Ket al., 2021,

    Modelling combined intravenous thrombolysis and mechanical thrombectomy in acute ischaemic stroke: Understanding the relationship between stent retriever configuration and clot lysis mechanisms

    , Life, Vol: 11, ISSN: 2075-1729

    Background: Combined intravenous thrombolysis and mechanical thrombectomy (IVT-MT) is a common treatment in acute ischaemic stroke, however the interaction between IVT and MT from a physiological standpoint is poorly understood. In this pilot study, we conduct numerical simulations of combined IVT-MT with various idealised stent retriever configurations to evaluate performance in terms of complete recanalisation times and lysis patterns. Methods: A 3D patient-specific geometry of a terminal internal carotid artery with anterior and middle cerebral arteries is reconstructed, and a thrombus is artificially implanted in the MCA branch. Various idealised stent retriever configurations are implemented by varying stent diameter and stent placement, and a configuration without a stent retriever provides a baseline for comparison. A previously validated multi-level model of thrombolysis is used, which incorporates blood flow, drug transport, and fibrinolytic reactions within a fibrin thrombus. Results: Fastest total recanalisation was achieved in the thrombus without a stent retriever, with lysis times increasing with stent retriever diameter. Two mechanisms of clot lysis were established: axial and radial permeation. Axial permeation from the clot front was the primary mechanism of lysis in all configurations, as it facilitated increased protein binding with fibrin fibres. Introducing a stent retriever channel allowed for radial permeation, which occurred at the fluid-thrombus interface, although lysis was much slower in the radial direction because of weaker secondary velocities. Conclusions: Numerical models can be used to better understand the complex physiological relationship between IVT and MT. Two different mechanisms of lysis were established, providing a basis towards improving the efficacy of combined treatments.

  • Journal article
    Xu X, Kan X, Ma T, Lin J, Wang L, Dong Zet al., 2021,

    Patient-specific simulation of stent-graft deployment in type B aortic dissection: model development and validation

    , Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology, Vol: 20, Pages: 2247-2258, ISSN: 1617-7940

    Thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) has been accepted as the mainstream treatment for type B aortic dissection, but post-TEVAR biomechanical-related complications are still a major drawback. Unfortunately, the stent-graft (SG) configuration after implantation and biomechanical interactions between the SG and local aorta are usually unknown prior to a TEVAR procedure. The ability to obtain such information via personalized computational simulation would greatly assist clinicians in pre-surgical planning. In this study, a virtual SG deployment simulation framework was developed for the treatment for a complicated aortic dissection case. It incorporates patient-specific anatomical information based on pre-TEVAR CT angiographic images, details of the SG design, and the mechanical properties of the stent wire, graft and dissected aorta. Hyperelastic material parameters for the aortic wall were determined based on uniaxial tensile testing performed on aortic tissue samples taken from type B aortic dissection patients. Pre-stress conditions of the aortic wall and the action of blood pressure were also accounted for. The simulated post-TEVAR configuration was compared with follow-up CT scans, demonstrating good agreement with mean deviations of 5.8% in local open area and 4.6 mm in stent strut position. Deployment of the SG increased the maximum principal stress by 24.30 KPa in the narrowed true lumen but reduced the stress by 31.38 KPa in the entry tear region where there was an aneurysmal expansion. Comparisons of simulation results with different levels of model complexity suggested that pre-stress of the aortic wall and blood pressure inside the stent-graft should be included in order to accurately predict the deformation of the deployed SG

  • Journal article
    Wu Y, Tang Z, Li B, Firmin D, Yang Get al., 2021,

    Recent advances in fibrosis and scar segmentation from cardiac MRI: A state-of-the-art review and future perspectives

    , Frontiers in Physiology, Vol: 12, Pages: 1-23, ISSN: 1664-042X

    Segmentation of cardiac fibrosis and scars is essential for clinical diagnosis and can provide invaluable guidance for the treatment of cardiac diseases. Late Gadolinium enhancement (LGE) cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) has been successful in guiding the clinical diagnosis and treatment reliably. For LGE CMR, many methods have demonstrated success in accurately segmenting scarring regions. Co-registration with other non-contrast-agent (non-CA) modalities [e.g., balanced steady-state free precession (bSSFP) cine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)] can further enhance the efficacy of automated segmentation of cardiac anatomies. Many conventional methods have been proposed to provide automated or semi-automated segmentation of scars. With the development of deep learning in recent years, we can also see more advanced methods that are more efficient in providing more accurate segmentations. This paper conducts a state-of-the-art review of conventional and current state-of-the-art approaches utilizing different modalities for accurate cardiac fibrosis and scar segmentation.

  • Journal article
    Kan X, Ma T, Dong Z, Xu Xet al., 2021,

    Patient-specific virtual stent-graft deployment for Type B aortic dissection: a pilot study of the impact of stent-graft length

    , Frontiers in Physiology, Vol: 12, ISSN: 1664-042X

    Thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) has been accepted as a standard treatment option for complicated type B aortic dissection. Distal stent-graft induced new entry (SINE) is recognized as one of the main post-TEVAR complications, which can lead to fatal prognosis. Previous retrospective cohort studies suggested that short stent-graft (SG) length (<165 mm) might correlate with increased risk of distal SINE. However, the influence of SG length on changes in local biomechanical conditions before and after TEVAR is unknown. In this paper, we aim to address this issue using a virtual SG deployment simulation model developed for application in type B aortic dissection. Our model incorporates detailed SG design and hyperelastic behaviour of the aortic wall. By making use of patient-specific geometry reconstructed from pre-TEVAR computed tomography angiography (CTA) scan, our model can predict post-TEVAR SG configuration and wall stress. Virtual SG deployment simulations were performed on a patient who underwent TEVAR with a short SG (158 mm in length), mimicking the actual clinical procedure. Further simulations were carried out on the same patient geometry but with different SG lengths (183 mm and 208 mm) in order to evaluate the effect of SG length on changes in local stress in the treated aorta.

  • Conference paper
    Yuan X, Kan X, Xu XY, Nienaber Cet al., 2021,

    Identifying and quantifying the 4D motion of aortic root

    , 70th Annual Scientific Session and Expo of the American-College-of-Cardiology (ACC), Publisher: Elsevier, Pages: 1832-1832, ISSN: 0735-1097

    BackgroundThe motion of aortic root due to heart traction was previously suggested to contribute to proximal aortic dissection. The 4D motion of the aorta is recognisable with dynamic image acquisition (multiphase ECG-gated contrast-enhanced CT). However, both displacement and rotation in quantitative terms still remain unknown. The objective is to investigate the motion of aortic root from dynamic CT images in quantitative terms.Methods40 patients’ dynamic CT images for coronary assessment have been identified from PACS at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospital. All images were acquired under the same scanning protocol and no aortopathy had been identified. The scans were triggered by ECG and consist of 10 evenly spaced phases (0%-90%) in a cardiac cycle. The end diastolic phase (0%) was used as reference phase and the three commissures of leaflets were manually marked to identify the plane of sinotubular junction (STJ) by image post-processing software. A patient-specific coordinate system was created at the centre of STJ with the Z-axis parallel to the local longitudinal direction. Both the ostia of the left and right coronary were chosen as landmarks and traced at each phase. The coordinates of the two coronary ostia were transferred to the patient-specific coordinate system to quantify the motion normal to STJ plane (out-plane), the motion within STJ plane (in-plane) and the twist motion.ResultsA total of 40 patients enrolled for this study with a mean age 65±12, and 14 patients were male (35%). The out-plane motion was recorded the largest displacement with 10.03±2.90 and 9.30±2.36 mm referenced by the left and right coronary ostium, respectively. The mean downward movement of aortic root is 9.10±2.38 mm. The STJ in-plane motion was 7.56±3.01 and 6.65±2.74 mm for left coronary ostium, compared with 6.65±2.74 and 6.54±2.51 mm for right coronary ostium. The twisting of the aortic root is 10.78±4

  • Journal article
    Manchester E, Pirola S, Salmasi M, O'Regan D, Athanasiou T, Xu Xet al., 2021,

    Analysis of turbulence effects in a patient-specific aorta with aortic valve stenosis

    , Cardiovascular Engineering and Technology, Vol: 12, Pages: 438-453, ISSN: 1869-408X

    Blood flow in the aorta is often assumed laminar, however aortic valve pathologies may induce transition to turbulence and our understanding of turbulence effects is incomplete. The aim of the study was to provide a detailed analysis of turbulence effects in aortic valve stenosis (AVS).Methods:Large-eddy simulation (LES) of flow through a patient-specific aorta with AVS was conducted. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed and used for geometric reconstruction and patient-specific boundary conditions. Computed velocity field was compared with 4D flow MRI to check qualitative and quantitative consistency. The effect of turbulence was evaluated in terms of fluctuating kinetic energy, turbulence-related wall shear stress (WSS) and energy loss.Results:Our analysis suggested that turbulence was induced by a combination of a high velocity jet impinging on the arterial wall and a dilated ascending aorta which provided sufficient space for turbulence to develop. Turbulent WSS contributed to 40% of the total WSS in the ascending aorta and 38% in the entire aorta. Viscous and turbulent irreversible energy losses accounted for 3.9 and 2.7% of the total stroke work, respectively.Conclusions:This study demonstrates the importance of turbulence in assessing aortic haemodynamics in a patient with AVS. Neglecting the turbulent contribution to WSS could potentially result in a significant underestimation of the total WSS. Further work is warranted to extend the analysis to more AVS cases and patients with other aortic valve diseases.

  • Journal article
    Armour C, Guo B, Pirola S, Saitta S, Liu Y, Dong Z, Xu Xet al., 2021,

    The influence of inlet velocity profile on predicted flow in type B aortic dissection

    , Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology, Vol: 20, Pages: 481-490, ISSN: 1617-7940

    In order for computational fluid dynamics to provide quantitative parameters to aid in the clinical assessment of type B aortic dissection, the results must accurately mimic the hemodynamic environment within the aorta. The choice of inlet velocity profile (IVP) therefore is crucial; however, idealised profiles are often adopted, and the effect of IVP on hemodynamics in a dissected aorta is unclear. This study examined two scenarios with respect to the influence of IVP—using (a) patient-specific data in the form of a three-directional (3D), through-plane (TP) or flat IVP; and (b) non-patient-specific flow waveform. The results obtained from nine simulations using patient-specific data showed that all forms of IVP were able to reproduce global flow patterns as observed with 4D flow magnetic resonance imaging. Differences in maximum velocity and time-averaged wall shear stress near the primary entry tear were up to 3% and 6%, respectively, while pressure differences across the true and false lumen differed by up to 6%. More notable variations were found in regions of low wall shear stress when the primary entry tear was close to the left subclavian artery. The results obtained with non-patient-specific waveforms were markedly different. Throughout the aorta, a 25% reduction in stroke volume resulted in up to 28% and 35% reduction in velocity and wall shear stress, respectively, while the shape of flow waveform had a profound influence on the predicted pressure. The results of this study suggest that 3D, TP and flat IVPs all yield reasonably similar velocity and time-averaged wall shear stress results, but TP IVPs should be used where possible for better prediction of pressure. In the absence of patient-specific velocity data, effort should be made to acquire patient’s stroke volume and adjust the applied IVP accordingly.

  • Journal article
    Wu Y, Hatipoglu S, Alonso-Álvarez D, Gatehouse P, Li B, Gao Y, Firmin D, Keegan J, Yang Get al., 2021,

    Fast and automated segmentation for the three-directional multi-slice cine myocardial velocity mapping

    , Diagnostics, Vol: 11, ISSN: 2075-4418

    Three-directional cine multi-slice left ventricular myocardial velocity mapping (3Dir MVM) is a cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) technique that allows the assessment of cardiac motion in three orthogonal directions. Accurate and reproducible delineation of the myocardium is crucial for accurate analysis of peak systolic and diastolic myocardial velocities. In addition to the conventionally available magnitude CMR data, 3Dir MVM also provides three orthogonal phase velocity mapping datasets, which are used to generate velocity maps. These velocity maps may also be used to facilitate and improve the myocardial delineation. Based on the success of deep learning in medical image processing, we propose a novel fast and automated framework that improves the standard U-Net-based methods on these CMR multi-channel data (magnitude and phase velocity mapping) by cross-channel fusion with an attention module and the shape information-based post-processing to achieve accurate delineation of both epicardial and endocardial contours. To evaluate the results, we employ the widely used Dice Scores and the quantification of myocardial longitudinal peak velocities. Our proposed network trained with multi-channel data shows superior performance compared to standard U-Net-based networks trained on single-channel data. The obtained results are promising and provide compelling evidence for the design and application of our multi-channel image analysis of the 3Dir MVM CMR data.

  • Journal article
    Yuan X, Kan X, Xu XY, Nienaber CAet al., 2020,

    Finite element modeling to predict procedural success of thoracic endovascular aortic repair in type A aortic dissection

    , JTCVS Techniques, Vol: 4, Pages: 40-47, ISSN: 2666-2507

    ObjectiveThoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) is recommended for type B aortic dissection and recently has even been used in selected cases of proximal (Stanford type A) aortic dissections in scenarios of prohibitive surgical risk. However, mechanical interactions between the native aorta and stent-graft are poorly understood, as some cases ended in failure. The aim of this study is to explore and better understand biomechanical changes after TEVAR and predict the result via virtual stenting.MethodsA case of type A aortic dissection was considered inoperable and selected for TEVAR. The procedure failed due to stent-graft migration even with precise deployment. A novel patient-specific virtual stent-graft deployment model based on finite element method was employed to analyze TEVAR-induced changes under such conditions. Two landing positions were simulated to investigate the reason for stent-graft migration immediately after TEVAR and explore options for optimization.ResultsSimulation of the actual procedure revealed that the proximal bare metal stent pushed the lamella into the false lumen and led to further stent-graft migration during the launch phase. An alternative landing position has reduced the local deformation of the dissection lamella and avoided stent-graft migration. Higher maximum principal stress (>20 KPa) was found on the lamella with deployment at the actual position, while the alternative strategy would have reduced the stress to <5 KPa.ConclusionsVirtual stent-graft deployment simulation based on finite element model could be helpful to both predict outcomes of TEVAR and better plan future endovascular procedures.

  • Journal article
    Chong MY, Gu B, Chan BT, Ong ZC, Xu XY, Lim Eet al., 2020,

    Effect of intimal flap motion on flow in acute type B aortic dissection by using fluid-structure interaction.

    , International Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering, Vol: 36, Pages: 1-22, ISSN: 1069-8299

    A monolithic, fully coupled fluid-structure interaction (FSI) computational framework was developed to account for dissection flap motion in acute type B aortic dissection (TBAD). Analysis of results included wall deformation, pressure, flow, wall shear stress (WSS), von. Mises stress and comparison of hemodynamics between rigid wall and FSI models. Our FSI model mimicked realistic wall deformation that resulted in maximum compression of the distal true lumen (TL) by 21.4%. The substantial movement of intimal flap mostly affected flow conditions in the false lumen (FL). Flap motion facilitated more flow entering the FL at peak systole, with the TL to FL flow split changing from 88:12 in the rigid model to 83:17 in the FSI model. There was more disturbed flow in the FL during systole (5.8% FSI vs. 5.2% rigid) and diastole (13.5% FSI vs. 9.8% rigid), via a λ2  -criterion. The flap-induced disturbed flow near the tears in the FSI model caused an increase of local WSS by up to 70.0% during diastole. This resulted in a significant reduction in the size of low time-averaged WSS (TAWSS) regions in the FL (113.11 cm2 FSI vs. 177.44 cm2 rigid). Moreover, the FSI model predicted lower systolic pressure, higher diastolic pressure, and hence lower pulse pressure. Our results provided new insights into the possible impact of flap motion on flow in aortic dissections, which are particularly important when evaluating hemodynamics of acute TBAD. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  • Journal article
    Xu X, Manchester E, 2020,

    The effect of turbulence on transitional flow in the FDA’s benchmark nozzle model using large-eddy simulation

    , International Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering, Vol: 36, Pages: 1-15, ISSN: 1069-8299

    The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) benchmark nozzle model has been studied extensively both experimentally and computationally. Although considerable efforts have been made on validations of a variety of numerical models against available experimental data, the transitional flow cases are still not fully resolved, especially with regards to detailed comparison of predicted turbulence quantities with experimental measurements. This study aims to fill this gap by conducting large‐eddy simulations (LES) of flow through the FDA's benchmark model, at a transitional Reynolds number of 2000. Numerical results are compared to previous interlaboratory experimental results, with an emphasis on turbulence characteristics. Our results show that the LES methodology can accurately capture laminar quantities throughout the model. In the pre‐jet breakdown region, predicted turbulence quantities are generally larger than high resolution experimental data acquired with laser Doppler velocimetry. In the jet breakdown regions, where maximum Reynolds stresses occur, Reynolds shear stresses show excellent agreement. Differences of up to 4% and 20% are observed near the jet core in the axial and radial normal Reynolds stresses, respectively. Comparisons between viscous and Reynolds shear stresses show that peak viscous shear stresses occur in the nozzle throat reaching a value of 18 Pa in the boundary layer, whilst peak Reynolds shear stresses occur in the jet breakdown region reaching a maximum value of 87 Pa. Our results highlight the importance in considering both laminar and turbulent contributions towards shear stresses and that neglecting the turbulence effect can significantly underestimate the total shear force exerted on the fluid.

  • Journal article
    Jarral OA, Tan MKH, Salmasi MY, Pirola S, Pepper JR, O'Regan DP, Xu XY, Athanasiou Tet al., 2020,

    Phase-contrast magnetic resonance imaging and computational fluid dynamics assessment of thoracic aorta blood flow: a literature review

    , European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, Vol: 57, Pages: 438-446, ISSN: 1010-7940

    The death rate from thoracic aortic disease is on the rise and represents a growing global health concern as patients are often asymptomatic before acute events, which have devastating effects on health-related quality of life. Biomechanical factors have been found to play a major role in the development of both acquired and congenital aortic diseases. However, much is still unknown and translational benefits of this knowledge are yet to be seen. Phase-contrast cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging of thoracic aortic blood flow has emerged as an exceptionally powerful non-invasive tool enabling visualization of complex flow patterns, and calculation of variables such as wall shear stress. This has led to multiple new findings in the areas of phenotype-dependent bicuspid valve flow patterns, thoracic aortic aneurysm formation and aortic prosthesis performance assessment. Phase-contrast cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging has also been used in conjunction with computational fluid modelling techniques to produce even more sophisticated analyses, by allowing the calculation of haemodynamic variables with exceptional temporal and spatial resolution. Translationally, these technologies may potentially play a major role in the emergence of precision medicine and patient-specific treatments in patients with aortic disease. This clinically focused review will provide a systematic overview of key insights from published studies to date.

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