Blood flow simulations in the pulmonary bifurcation in relation to adult patients with repaired tetralogy of Fallot

Boumpouli, Maria and Danton, Mark H.D. and Gourlay, Terry and Kazakidi, Asimina (2020) Blood flow simulations in the pulmonary bifurcation in relation to adult patients with repaired tetralogy of Fallot. Medical Engineering and Physics, 85. pp. 123-138. ISSN 1873-4030 (

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Understanding the haemodynamic environment of the pulmonary bifurcation is important in adults with repaired conotruncal congenital heart disease. In these patients, dysfunction of the pulmonary valve and narrowing of the branch pulmonary arteries are common and can have serious clinical consequences. The aim of this study was to numerically investigate the underlying blood flow characteristics in the pulmonary trunk under a range of simplified conditions. For that, an in-depth analysis was conducted in idealised two-dimensional geometries that facilitate parametric investigation of healthy and abnormal conditions. Subtle variations in morphology influenced the haemodynamic environment and wall shear stress distribution. The pressure in the left pulmonary artery was generally higher than that in the right and main arteries, but was markedly reduced in the presence of a local stenosis. Different downstream pressure conditions altered the branch flow ratio, from 50:50% to more realistic 60:40% ratios in the right and left pulmonary artery, respectively. Despite some simplifications, this study highlights some previously undocumented aspects of the flow in bifurcating geometries, by clarifying the role of the stagnation point location on wall shear stress and differential branch pressures. In addition, measurements of the mean pressure ratios in the pulmonary bifurcation are discussed in the context of a new haemodynamic index which could potentially contribute to the assessment of left pulmonary artery stenosis in tetralogy of Fallot patients. Further studies are required to confirm the results in patient-specific models with personalised physiological flow conditions.


Boumpouli, Maria, Danton, Mark H.D., Gourlay, Terry and Kazakidi, Asimina ORCID logoORCID:;