Age and risk factors influence aortic calcification

Vascular calcification is associated with higher incidence of cardiovascular events: we analyze the relations between calcification and abnormal hemodynamics that result from morphometric changes occurring to the vasculature with age.

Our CompMech Group member, Gaetano Aran, has calculated hemodynamics in six vascular zones across ascending aorta to the femoral artery, in 96 subjects ranging 5-93 years old. After segmentation, small branch vessels were removed and the whole vascular tree was divided into six segments.

We performed simulations with the open source finite elements software SimVascular and then they ran them on Cineca’s servers, thanks to the COMVASC – ISCRA B resource allocation (Italian SuperComputing Resource Allocation – ISCRA).

After computing the velocity field, Time Averaged Wall Shear Stress (TAWSS) and Oscillatory Shear Index (OSI) were computed at the vessel surface: we observed that there TAWSS and OSI had a good correlation in all segments with age, but there was no good correlation between calcification and hemodynamics.


Fig. 1: Vascular zones of interest

The whole study results from an on-going collaboration between the Computational Mechanics and Advanced Material Group of the University of Pavia (B. Sc. Gaetano Aran, Dr. Rodrigo Romarowski, Prof. Michele Conti, Prof. Ferdinando Auricchio) and the Department of Biomechanics at the University of Nebraska Omaha (Dr. Alexey Kamenskiy).

October 7th, 2020

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