A multiscale model of vascular function in chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) is caused by recurrent or unresolved pulmonary thromboemboli, leading to perfusion defects and increased arterial wave reflections. CTEPH treatment aims to reduce pulmonary arterial pressure and reestablish adequate lung perfusion, yet patients with distal lesions are inoperable by standard surgical intervention. Instead, these patients undergo balloon pulmonary angioplasty (BPA), a multisession, minimally invasive surgery that disrupts the thromboembolic material within the vessel lumen using a catheter balloon. However, there still lacks an integrative, holistic tool for identifying optimal target lesions for treatment. To address this insufficiency, we simulate CTEPH hemodynamics and BPA therapy using a multiscale fluid dynamics model. The large pulmonary arterial geometry is derived from a computed tomography (CT) image, whereas a fractal tree represents the small vessels. We model ring- and web-like lesions, common in CTEPH, and simulate normotensive conditions and four CTEPH disease scenarios; the latter includes both large artery lesions and vascular remodeling. BPA therapy is simulated by simultaneously reducing lesion severity in three locations. Our predictions mimic severe CTEPH, manifested by an increase in mean proximal pulmonary arterial pressure above 20 mmHg and prominent wave reflections. Both flow and pressure decrease in vessels distal to the lesions and increase in unobstructed vascular regions. We use the main pulmonary artery (MPA) pressure, a wave reflection index, and a measure of flow heterogeneity to select optimal target lesions for BPA. In summary, this study provides a multiscale, image-to-hemodynamics pipeline for BPA therapy planning for patients with inoperable CTEPH. NEW & NOTEWORTHY This article presents novel computational framework for predicting pulmonary hemodynamics in chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. The mathematical model is used to identify the optimal target lesions for balloon pulmonary angioplasty, combining simulated pulmonary artery pressure, wave intensity analysis, and a new quantitative metric of flow heterogeneity.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Colebank, MJ; Qureshi, MU; Rajagopal, S; Krasuski, RA; Olufsen, MS

Published Date

  • August 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 321 / 2

Start / End Page

  • H318 - H338

PubMed ID

  • 34142886

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8410122

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1522-1539

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0363-6135

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1152/ajpheart.00086.2021


  • eng