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Phys Med. 2013 May;29(3):225-32. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmp.2012.03.008. Epub 2012 Jun 14.

Evaluation of functional severity of coronary artery disease and fluid dynamics' influence on hemodynamic parameters: A review.

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  • 1Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is responsible for most of the deaths in patients with cardiovascular diseases. Diagnostic coronary angiography analysis offers an anatomical knowledge of the severity of the stenosis. The functional or physiological significance is more valuable than the anatomical significance of CAD. Clinicians assess the functional severity of the stenosis by resorting to an invasive measurement of the pressure drop and flow. Hemodynamic parameters, such as pressure wire assessment fractional flow reserve (FFR) or Doppler wire assessment coronary flow reserve (CFR) are well-proven techniques to evaluate the physiological significance of the coronary artery stenosis in the cardiac catheterization laboratory. Between the two techniques mentioned above, the FFR is seen as a very useful index. The presence of guide wire reduces the coronary flow which causes the underestimation of pressure drop across the stenosis which leads to dilemma for the clinicians in the assessment of moderate stenosis. In such condition, the fundamental fluid mechanics is useful in the development of new functional severity parameters such as pressure drop coefficient and lesion flow coefficient. Since the flow takes place in a narrowed artery, the blood behaves as a non-Newtonian fluid. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) allows a complete coronary flow simulation to study the relationship between the pressure and flow. This paper aims at explaining (i) diagnostic modalities for the evaluation of the CAD and valuable insights regarding FFR in the evaluation of the functional severity of the CAD (ii) the role of fluid dynamics in measuring the severity of CAD.

Copyright © 2012 Associazione Italiana di Fisica Medica. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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