Journal of biomechanics | 28 Nov 2012
KB Chandran and SC Vigmostad
About 1-2% of the babies are born with bicuspid aortic valves instead of the normal aortic valve with three leaflets. A significant portion of the patients with the congenital bicuspid valve morphology suffer from aortic valve stenosis and/or ascending aortic dilatation and dissection thus requiring surgical intervention when they are young adults. Patients with bicuspid aortic valves (BAVs) have also been found to develop valvular stenosis earlier than those with the normal aortic valve. This paper overviews current knowledge of BAVs, where several studies have suggested that the mechanical stresses induced on the valve leaflets and the abnormal flow development in the ascending aorta may be an important factor in the diseases of the valve and the aortic root. The long-term goals of the studies being performed in our laboratory are aimed towards potential stratification of bicuspid valve patients who may be at risk for developing these pathologies based on analyzing the hemodynamic environment of these valves using fluid-structure interaction (FSI) modeling. Patient-specific geometry of the normal tri-cuspid and bicuspid valves are reconstructed from real-time 3D ultrasound images and the dynamic analyses performed in order to determine the potential effects of mechanical stresses on the valve leaflet and aortic root pathology. This paper describes the details of the computational tools and discusses challenges with patient-specific modeling.
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