A coupled mitral valve -- left ventricle model with fluid-structure interaction

Hao Gao, Liuyang Feng, Nan Qi, Colin Berry, Boyce Griffith, Xiaoyu Luo

Understanding the interaction between the valves and walls of the heart is important in assessing and subsequently treating heart dysfunction. With advancements in cardiac imaging, nonlinear mechanics and computational techniques, it is now possible to explore the mechanics of valve-heart interactions using anatomically and physiologically realistic models. This study presents an integrated model of the mitral valve (MV) coupled to the left ventricle (LV), with the geometry derived from in vivo clinical magnetic resonance images. Numerical simulations using this coupled MV-LV model are developed using an immersed boundary/finite element method. The model incorporates detailed valvular features, left ventricular contraction, nonlinear soft tissue mechanics, and fluid-mediated interactions between the MV and LV wall. We use the model to simulate the cardiac function from diastole to systole, and investigate how myocardial active relaxation function affects the LV pump function. The results of the new model agree with in vivo measurements, and demonstrate that the diastolic filling pressure increases significantly with impaired myocardial active relaxation to maintain the normal cardiac output. The coupled model has the potential to advance fundamental knowledge of mechanisms underlying MV-LV interaction, and help in risk stratification and optimization of therapies for heart diseases.

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