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Phys Rev Lett. 2005 Sep 2;95(10):108101. Epub 2005 Sep 2.

Nature optimizes the swirling flow in the human left ventricle.

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Dipartimento Ingegneria Civile, Università di Trieste, Italy.


The asymmetry of the blood flow in the human left ventricle is commonly assumed to facilitate the following ejection of blood in the primary circulation. The intraventricular flow is here studied by the numerical solution of the governing equations written in a prolate spheroid geometry with moving walls. The physiological parameters are taken from pediatric clinical data; then, the entering jet is artificially displaced to modify the asymmetry of the flow. The analysis of flow patterns confirms that the physiological case looks to best comply with the transition from the filling to the ejection phase. The flow energy dissipation is found to be minimized about the physiological conditions. An unnatural asymmetry, as given by cardiac diseases or valvular replacement, could reduce the efficiency of the heart pump by over 10%, thus augmenting the work required by the cardiac muscle.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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