Alteration of the flow characteristics in coronary vessels is correlated with coronary heart disease (CHD). In particular, wall shear stress (WSS) appears to be a hemody-namic key factor in the genesis of CHD. Since computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a well-known method for the inves-tigation of WSS, it may be a valuable tool for the prediction of CHD. Latest imaging techniques, such as optical coher-ence tomography (OCT) in conjunction with angiography deliver precise 2D data sets of patient-specific vessel geome-try, which can be used for CFD analysis. Current CFD stud-ies utilize patient-specific geometries, but are lacking well defined physiologic inflow conditions.
In this study, we present an inflow mapping method for patient-specific arterial vessels, which is capable of consider-ing the influence of bifurcations located proximal of the OCT-data set. At first, the patient-specific vessel was recon-structed. For this purpose the OCT-based vessel cross sec-tions were arranged along an angiographic based vessel pathway. Secondly, we simulated the flow field in a generic bifurcation model by means of CFD. Thereafter the flow field of a side branch was extracted and transferred (mapped) to the inlet of the patient-specific vessel.
To evaluate the influence of the physiological inlet the WSS distribution of the same patient-specific vessel was calculated using an axial-symmetric inflow condition. Analy-sis of the simulation data yielded deviations of the WSS distribution in the proximal vessel segment. A bifurcation, located upstream of the relevant vessel segment strongly affects the flow in the OCT-based vessel reconstruction and has a strong influence on the results of the numerical analy-sis. Therefore, it is important to implement not only the pa-tient-specific geometry, but also an inlet boundary condition adapted to the upstream velocity distribution reflecting the actual proximal flow situation of the vessel.