Comparative hemodynamics in an aorta with bicuspid and trileaflet valves

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19 Scopus citations


Bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) is a congenital heart defect that has been associated with serious aortopathies, such as aortic stenosis, aortic regurgitation, infective endocarditis, aortic dissection, calcific aortic valve and dilatation of ascending aorta. There are two main hypotheses to explain the increase prevalence of aortopathies in patients with BAV: the genetic and the hemodynamic. In this study, we seek to investigate the possible role of hemodynamic factors as causes of BAV-associated aortopathy. We employ the curvilinear immersed boundary method coupled with an efficient thin-shell finite-element formulation for tissues to carry out fluid–structure interaction simulations of a healthy trileaflet aortic valve (TAV) and a BAV placed in the same anatomic aorta. The computed results reveal major differences between the TAV and BAV flow patterns. These include: the dynamics of the aortic valve vortex ring formation and break up; the large-scale flow patterns in the ascending aorta; the shear stress magnitude, directions, and dynamics on the heart valve surfaces. The computed results are in qualitative agreement with in vivo magnetic resonance imaging data and suggest that the linkages between BAV aortopathy and hemodynamics deserve further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-85
Number of pages19
JournalTheoretical and Computational Fluid Dynamics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge the financial support from a grant from the Lillehei Heart Institute at the University of Minnesota. Part of computational resources for this work were provided by the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


  • Bicuspid valve
  • Finite element
  • Fluid–structure interaction
  • Immersed boundary method
  • Rotation-free approach
  • Thin shell
  • Trileaflet valve


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