Author(s): Chong CK, How TV, Harris PL
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Abstract PURPOSE: To use an in vitro flow model to investigate the flow patterns in a bifurcated stent-graft for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair. METHODS: Experiments were performed in an in vitro test rig incorporating a simplified non-planar model of an AAA. A two-component bifurcated device consisting of a stent structure and transparent polyurethane "graft" was deployed in the AAA model. Using a blood analogue fluid, a pulsatile blood flow waveform simulating resting flow condition was produced by means of a piston pump system. Flow patterns in the lateral and anteroposterior planes of the stent-graft were recorded and analyzed using flow visualization techniques. RESULTS: The flow patterns within the stent-graft were complex and influenced by the geometry of the stent-graft itself, as well as that of the aortic neck and iliac vessels. Regions of flow separation, low velocity and stagnation, and slow oscillatory flow near the walls were seen in the main body of the stent-graft. Constriction at the stump in the contralateral limb resulted in flow disturbances and flow separation. Kinking at the junctions of stent segments and folding of the graft compounded these complex flow structures. CONCLUSIONS: The flow structures within stent-grafts are complex, with features that may predispose to thrombus formation. Arterial geometry, including aortic neck angulation and iliac vessel tortuosity, and the design of the stent-graft are factors that influence hemodynamics and may impact the performance of aortic stent-grafts.
This article was published in J Endovasc Ther
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Cardiology