Effects of age on vascular hemodynamics: in-silico assessment of a large clinical database

Aging is associated with arterial stiffness and morphological changes in vascular anatomy which involve increased arterial diameter and tortuosity. Arterial calcification is one measure of such a pathology that can be quantified using clinical imaging, thus allowing a spatial correlation with hemodynamic features retrieved from CFD.

Starting from the simulation of 9 aortas, each representing a decade of life, we have expanded the numbers to a cohort of 211 aortas to investigate the relations between aging, hemodynamics, and vascular calcification. Preliminary data point out the importance of local hemodynamic factors that may include disturbed flow and low and oscillatory shear stresses that evolve with age as the vascular tree becomes wider and more tortuous. The results of the previous study are in the image below.

All simulations will be performed with the validated finite element software SimVascular, particularly developed for solving blood flow simulations. All simulations will run on Cineca’s servers, thanks to the COMVASC – ISCRA B resource allocation (Italian SuperComputing Resource Allocation – ISCRA).

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 AranDr. Michele ContiProf. Ferdinando Auricchio), 3D and Computer Simulation Laboratory at the IRCCS Policlinico San Donato (Dr. Rodrigo Romarowski) and the University of Nebraska Medical Center (Dr. Alexey Kamenskiy).

June 24th, 2019

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