Utilizing Engineering Principles to Help Babies Born with "Half a Heart"

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Two in every one thousand births in the USA results in a baby born with a single ventricle (“half a heart”). The total cavopulmonary connection (TCPC) is the current procedure of choice for surgical palliation of single ventricle congenital heart disease. The hemodynamics/fluid dynamics in these patients is often very complex and subjected to instabilities. To better understand the fluid dynamics and predict patient outcomes, a synergistic multi-disciplinary approach, involving engineering, computing and medicine, has been utilized. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has been used to obtain in vivo patient-specific anatomies and phase contrast MRI is used for flow boundary conditions. Computationally, a virtual surgery tool has been developed to simulate a series of surgical options, whose hemodynamic performances are evaluated using computational fluid dynamics (CFD).  Digital particle image velocimetry and energy loss measurements have also been employed to understand the fluid dynamics in vitro, in three dimensional geometric models of single ventricle patients. The experimental results provide validation to the CFD simulations. Using this multi-disciplinary approach, the performances of different patient geometries are evaluated based on their flow characteristics and hemodynamic efficiency. These findings are providing pediatric surgeons valuable surgical planning insights into improving patient outcomes.

Continental breakfast will be served.


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Colly Mitchell
  • Created: 11/01/2010
  • Modified By: Fletcher Moore
  • Modified: 10/07/2016

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