Fast and Accurate Pressure-Drop Prediction in Straightened Atherosclerotic Coronary Arteries

Jelle T. C. Schrauwen*, Dion J. Koeze, Jolanda J. Wentzel, Frans N. van de Vosse, Anton F. W. van der Steen, Frank J. H. Gijsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Atherosclerotic disease progression in coronary arteries is influenced by wall shear stress. To compute patient-specific wall shear stress, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is required. In this study we propose a method for computing the pressure-drop in regions proximal and distal to a plaque, which can serve as a boundary condition in CFD. As a first step towards exploring the proposed method we investigated ten straightened coronary arteries. First, the flow fields were calculated with CFD and velocity profiles were fitted on the results. Second, the Navier-Stokes equation was simplified and solved with the found velocity profiles to obtain a pressure-drop estimate (?p (1)). Next, ?p (1) was compared to the pressure-drop from CFD (?p CFD) as a validation step. Finally, the velocity profiles, and thus the pressure-drop were predicted based on geometry and flow, resulting in ?p geom. We found that ?p (1) adequately estimated ?p CFD with velocity profiles that have one free parameter ?. This ? was successfully related to geometry and flow, resulting in an excellent agreement between ?p CFD and ?p geom: 3.9 ? 4.9% difference at Re = 150. We showed that this method can quickly and accurately predict pressure-drop on the basis of geometry and flow in straightened coronary arteries that are mildly diseased.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-67
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Coronary arteries
  • Navier-Stokes equation
  • CFD
  • Geometry-based
  • Pressure-drop

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