A sensitivity analysis of a personalized pulse wave propagation model for arteriovenous fistula surgery. Part A: Identification of most influential model parameters

W. Huberts*, C. de Jonge, W. P. M. van der Linden, M. A. Inda, J. H. M. Tordoir, F. N. van de Vosse, E. M. H. Bosboom

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Previously, a pulse wave propagation model was developed that has potential in supporting decision-making in arteriovenous fistula (AVF) surgery for hemodialysis. To adapt the wave propagation model to personalized conditions, patient-specific input parameters should be available. In clinics, the number of measurable input parameters is limited which results in sparse datasets. In addition, patient data are compromised with uncertainty. These uncertain and incomplete input datasets will result in model output uncertainties. By means of a sensitivity analysis the propagation of input uncertainties into output uncertainty can be studied which can give directions for input measurement improvement. In this study, a computational framework has been developed to perform such a sensitivity analysis with a variance-based method and Monte Carlo simulations. The framework was used to determine the influential parameters of our pulse wave propagation model applied to AVF surgery, with respect to parameter prioritization and parameter fixing. With this we were able to determine the model parameters that have the largest influence on the predicted mean brachial flow and systolic radial artery pressure after AVF surgery. Of all 73 parameters 51 could be fixed within their measurement uncertainty interval without significantly influencing the output, while 16 parameters importantly influence the output uncertainty. Measurement accuracy improvement should thus focus on these 16 influential parameters. The most rewarding are measurement improvements of the following parameters: the mean aortic flow, the aortic windkessel resistance, the parameters associated with the smallest arterial or venous diameters of the AVF in- and outflow tract and the radial artery windkessel compliance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)810-826
JournalMedical Engineering & Physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


  • Pulse wave propagation model
  • Personalized modeling
  • Predictive surgery
  • Global sensitivity analysis
  • AVF surgery
  • Measurement protocol

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