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Comput Methods Appl Mech Eng. 2017 Jul 1;321:46-69. doi: 10.1016/j.cma.2017.03.036. Epub 2017 Apr 10.

A Predictive Framework to Elucidate Venous Stenosis: CFD & Shape Optimization.

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Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering Department, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL, USA.
Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.


The surgical creation of vascular accesses for renal failure patients provides an abnormally high flow rate conduit in the patient's upper arm vasculature that facilitates the hemodialysis treatment. These vascular accesses, however, are very often associated with complications that lead to access failure and thrombotic incidents, mainly due to excessive neointimal hyperplasia (NH) and subsequently stenosis. Development of a framework to monitor and predict the evolution of the venous system post access creation can greatly contribute to maintaining access patency. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) has been exploited to inspect the non-homeostatic wall shear stress (WSS) distribution that is speculated to trigger NH in the patient cohort under investigation. Thereafter, CFD in liaison with a gradient-free shape optimization method has been employed to analyze the deformation modes of the venous system enduring non-physiological hemodynamics. It is observed that the optimally evolved shapes and their corresponding hemodynamics strive to restore the homeostatic state of the venous system to a normal, pre-surgery condition. It is concluded that a CFD-shape optimization coupling that seeks to regulate the WSS back to a well-defined physiological WSS target range can accurately predict the mode of patient-specific access failure.


Arteriovenous Fistula; CFD; Hemodialysis; Hemodynamics; Neointimal Hyperplasia; Shape Optimization; Vascular Access

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