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Biomedical Engineering / Biomedizinische Technik

Joint Journal of the German Society for Biomedical Engineering in VDE and the Austrian and Swiss Societies for Biomedical Engineering and the German Society of Biomaterials

Editor-in-Chief: Dössel, Olaf

Editorial Board: Augat, Peter / Habibović, Pamela / Haueisen, Jens / Jahnen-Dechent, Wilhelm / Jockenhoevel, Stefan / Knaup-Gregori, Petra / Lenarz, Thomas / Leonhardt, Steffen / Plank, Gernot / Radermacher, Klaus M. / Schkommodau, Erik / Stieglitz, Thomas / Boenick, Ulrich / Jaramaz, Branislav / Kraft, Marc / Lenthe, Harry / Lo, Benny / Mainardi, Luca / Micera, Silvestro / Penzel, Thomas / Robitzki, Andrea A. / Schaeffter, Tobias / Snedeker, Jess G. / Sörnmo, Leif / Sugano, Nobuhiko / Werner, Jürgen /

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Volume 59, Issue 6


Volume 57 (2012)

Analysis of emboli and blood flow in the ophthalmic artery to understand retinal artery occlusion

Tim A.S. Kaufmann
  • Corresponding author
  • Institute of Applied Medical Engineering, Helmholtz Institute, Department of Cardiovascular Engineering, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Christoph Leisser / Jeannie Gemsa
  • Institute of Applied Medical Engineering, Helmholtz Institute, Department of Cardiovascular Engineering, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Ulrich Steinseifer
  • Institute of Applied Medical Engineering, Helmholtz Institute, Department of Cardiovascular Engineering, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2014-07-16 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bmt-2014-0002


Retinal artery occlusion (RAO) is a common ocular vascular occlusive disorder that may lead to partial or complete retinal ischemia with sudden visual deterio ration and visual field defects. Although RAO has been investigated since 1859, the main mechanism is still not fully understood. While hypoperfusion of the ophthalmic artery (OA) due to severe stenosis of the internal carotid artery might lead to RAO, emboli are assumed to be the main reason. Intra-arterial thrombolysis is not a sufficient treatment for RAO, and current research is mainly focused on risk factors. In this study, a computational fluid dynamic model is presented to analyse flow conditions and clot behaviour at the junction of the internal carotid artery and OA based on a realistic geometry from a RAO patient. Clot diameters varied between 5 and 200 μm, and the probability of clots reaching the OA or being washed into the brain was analysed. Results show sufficient blood flow and perfusion pressure at the end of OA. The probability that clots from the main blood flow will to be washed into the brain is 7.32±1.08%. A wall shear stress hotspot is observed at the curvature proximal to the internal carotid artery/OA junction. Clots released from this hotspot have a higher probability of causing RAO. The occurrence of such patient-specific pathophysiologies will have to be considered in the future.

Keywords: computational fluid dynamics; embolism; retinal artery occlusion


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About the article

Corresponding author: Tim A.S. Kaufmann, Institute of Applied Medical Engineering, Helmholtz Institute, Department of Cardiovascular Engineering, RWTH Aachen University, Pauwelsstraße 20, 52074 Aachen, Germany, Phone: +492418080540, Fax: +492418082144, E-mail: ; and enmodes GmbH, Aachen, Germany

Received: 2014-01-13

Accepted: 2014-06-20

Published Online: 2014-07-16

Published in Print: 2014-12-01

Citation Information: Biomedical Engineering / Biomedizinische Technik, Volume 59, Issue 6, Pages 471–477, ISSN (Online) 1862-278X, ISSN (Print) 0013-5585, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bmt-2014-0002.

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