New computational techniques providing more accurate representation of human heart pathologies could help uncovering relevant physical phenomena and improve the outcome of medical therapies. In this framework, the present work describes an efficient computational model for the evaluation of the ventricular flow alteration in presence of mitral valve stenosis. The model is based on the direct numerical simulation of the Navier–Stokes equations two-way coupled with a structural solver for the left ventricle and mitral valve dynamics. The presence of mitral valve stenosis is mimicked by a single-parameter constraint acting on the kinematics of the mitral leaflets. Four different degrees of mitral valve stenosis are considered focusing on the hemodynamic alterations occurring in pathologic conditions. The mitral jet, generated during diastole, is seen to shrink and strengthen when the stenosis gets more severe. As a consequence, the kinetic energy of the flow, the tissues shear stresses, the transvalvular pressure drop and mitral regurgitation increase. It results that, as the stenosis severity level increases, the geometric and effective orifice areas decrease up to 50% with respect the normal case due to the reduced leaflets mobility and stronger blood acceleration during the diastolic phase. The modified intraventricular hemodynamics is also related to a stronger pressure gradient that, for severe stenosis, can be more than ten times larger than the healthy valve case. These computational results are fully consistent with the available clinical literature and open the way to the virtual assessment of surgical procedures and to the evaluation of prosthetic devices.
- Mitral valve stenosis
- Multi-physics model