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Applied Bionics and Biomechanics
Volume 3 (2006), Issue 2, Pages 77-86
http://dx.doi.org/10.1533/abbi.2005.0023

Effects of Stenting on Blood Flow in a Coronary Artery Network Model

R. Raghu, A. Pullan, and N. Smith

Department of Engineering Science and Bioengineering Institute, The University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand

Copyright © 2006 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The effect of stenting on blood flow is investigated using a model of the coronary artery network. The parameters in a generic non-linear pressure–radius relationship are varied in the stented region to model the increase in stiffness of the vessel due to the presence of the stent. A computationally efficient form of the Navier–Stokes equation is solved using a Lax–Wendroff finite difference method. Pressure, vessel radius and flow velocity are computed along the vessel segments. Results show negative pressure gradients at the ends of the stent and increased velocity through the middle of the stented region. Changes in local flow patterns and vessel wall stresses due to the presence of the stent have been shown to be important in restenosis of vessels. Local and global pressure gradients affect local flow patterns and vessel wall stresses, and therefore may be an important factor associated with restenosis. The model presented in this study can be easily extended to solve flows for stented vessels in a full, anatomically realistic coronary network. The framework to allow for the effects of the deformation of the myocardium on the coronary network is also in place.