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J Biomech. 2000 Jun;33(6):717-28.

Numerical study on the effect of secondary flow in the human aorta on local shear stresses in abdominal aortic branches.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.


Flow in the aortic arch is characterized primarily by the presence of a strong secondary flow superimposed over the axial flow, skewed axial velocity profiles and diastolic flow reversals. A significant amount of helical flow has also been observed in the descending aorta of humans and in models. In this study a computational model of the abdominal aorta complete with two sets of outflow arteries was adapted for three-dimensional steady flow simulations. The flow through the model was predicted using the Navier-Stokes equations to study the effect that a rotational component of flow has on the general flow dynamics in this vascular segment. The helical velocity profile introduced at the inlet was developed from magnetic resonance velocity mappings taken from a plane transaxial to the aortic arch. Results showed that flow division ratios increased in the first set of branches and decreased in the second set with the addition of rotational flow. Shear stress varied in magnitude with the addition of rotational flow, but the shear stress distribution did not change. No regions of flow separation were observed in the iliac arteries for either case. Helical flow may have a stabilizing effect on the flow patterns in branches in general, as evidenced by the decreased difference in shear stress between the inner and outer walls in the iliac arteries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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