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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013, Article ID 185691, 10 pages
Research Article

Why Is ABI Effective in Detecting Vascular Stenosis? Investigation Based on Multibranch Hemodynamic Model

1Key Laboratory for Biomechanics and Mechanobiology of Ministry of Education, School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China
2State Key Laboratory of Virtual Reality Technology and Systems, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China

Received 5 June 2013; Accepted 1 August 2013

Academic Editors: H.-C. Han, M. Ohta, and A. Qiao

Copyright © 2013 Xiaoyun Li et al. 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.


The ankle-brachial index (ABI), defined as the ratio of systolic pressure in the ankle arteries and that in the brachial artery, was a useful noninvasive method to detect arterial stenoses. There had been a lot of researches about clinical regularities of ABI; however, mechanism studies were less addressed. For the purpose of a better understanding of the correlation between vascular stenoses and ABI, a computational model for simulating blood pressure and flow propagation in various arterial stenosis circumstances was developed with a detailed compartmental description of the heart and main arteries. Particular attention was paid to the analysis of effects of vascular stenoses in different large-sized arteries on ABI in theory. Moreover, the variation of ABI during the increase of the stenosis severity was also studied. Results showed that stenoses in lower limb arteries, as well as, brachial artery, caused different variations of blood pressure in ankle and brachial arteries, resulting in a significant change of ABI. Furthermore, the variation of ABI became faster when the severity of the stenosis increased, validating that ABI was more sensitive to severe stenoses than to mild/moderate ones. All these in findings revealed the reason why ABI was an effective index for detecting stenoses, especially in lower limb arteries.