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  1. Abstract We propose svMorph, a framework for interactive virtual sculpting of patient-specific vascular anatomic models. Our framework includes three tools for the creation of tortuosity, aneurysms, and stenoses in tubular vascular geometries. These shape edits are performed via geometric operations on the surface mesh and vessel centerline curves of the input model. The tortuosity tool also uses the physics-based Oriented Particles method, coupled with linear blend skinning, to achieve smooth, elastic-like deformations. Our tools can be applied separately or in combination to produce simulation-suitable morphed models. They are also compatible with popular vascular modeling software, such as SimVascular. To illustrate our tools, we morph several image-based, patient-specific models to create a range of shape changes and simulate the resulting hemodynamics via three-dimensional, computational fluid dynamics. We also demonstrate the ability to quickly estimate the hemodynamic effects of the shape changes via automated generation of associated zero-dimensional lumped-parameter models. 
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  2. Abstract Background

    Four-dimensional flow cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (4D flow CMR) allows comprehensive assessment of pulmonary artery (PA) flow dynamics. Few studies have characterized longitudinal changes in pulmonary flow dynamics and right ventricular (RV) recovery following a pulmonary endarterectomy (PEA) for patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH). This can provide novel insights of RV and PA dynamics during recovery. We investigated the longitudinal trajectory of 4D flow metrics following a PEA including velocity, vorticity, helicity, and PA vessel wall stiffness.


    Twenty patients with CTEPH underwent pre-PEA and > 6 months post-PEA CMR imaging including 4D flow CMR; right heart catheter measurements were performed in 18 of these patients. We developed a semi-automated pipeline to extract integrated 4D flow-derived main, left, and right PA (MPA, LPA, RPA) volumes, velocity flow profiles, and secondary flow profiles. We focused on secondary flow metrics of vorticity, volume fraction of positive helicity (clockwise rotation), and the helical flow index (HFI) that measures helicity intensity.


    Mean PA pressures (mPAP), total pulmonary resistance (TPR), and normalized RV end-systolic volume (RVESV) decreased significantly post-PEA (P < 0.002). 4D flow-derived PA volumes decreased (P < 0.001) and stiffness, velocity, and vorticity increased (P < 0.01) post-PEA. Longitudinal improvements from pre- to post-PEA in mPAP were associated with longitudinal decreases in MPA area (r = 0.68, P = 0.002). Longitudinal improvements in TPR were associated with longitudinal increases in the maximum RPA HFI (r=-0.85, P < 0.001). Longitudinal improvements in RVESV were associated with longitudinal decreases in MPA fraction of positive helicity (r = 0.75, P = 0.003) and minimum MPA HFI (r=-0.72, P = 0.005).


    We developed a semi-automated pipeline for analyzing 4D flow metrics of vessel stiffness and flow profiles. PEA was associated with changes in 4D flow metrics of PA flow profiles and vessel stiffness. Longitudinal analysis revealed that PA helicity was associated with pulmonary remodeling and RV reverse remodeling following a PEA.

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  3. Over the last two decades, science gateways have become essential tools for supporting both research and education. The SimVascular application is an open source software package providing a complete pipeline from medical image data segmentation to patient-specific blood flow simulation and analysis. With an ever-increasing user base of students, educators, clinicians, and researchers, the development group wanted a user-friendly web portal for users to run SimVascular flow simulations and to be able to support a large number of users with minimum effort and also hide complexity of using HPCs. This paper discusses how the SimVascular Science Gateway became a tool for students, educators, and researchers of all levels and continues to gather and grow a strong research community. 
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  4. Background Despite favorable outcomes of surgical pulmonary artery (PA) reconstruction, isolated proximal stenting of the central PAs is common clinical practice for patients with peripheral PA stenosis in association with Williams and Alagille syndromes. Given the technical challenges of PA reconstruction and the morbidities associated with transcatheter interventions, the hemodynamic consequences of all treatment strategies must be rigorously assessed. Our study aims to model, assess, and predict hemodynamic outcomes of transcatheter interventions in these patients. Methods and Results Isolated proximal and “extensive” interventions (stenting and/or balloon angioplasty of proximal and lobar vessels) were performed in silico on 6 patient‐specific PA models. Autoregulatory adaptation of the cardiac output and downstream arterial resistance was modeled in response to intervention‐induced hemodynamic perturbations. Postintervention computational fluid dynamics predictions were validated in 2 stented patients and quantitatively assessed in 4 surgical patients. Our computational methods accurately predicted postinterventional PA pressures, the primary indicators of success for treatment of peripheral PA stenosis. Proximal and extensive treatment achieved median reductions of 14% and 40% in main PA systolic pressure, 27% and 56% in pulmonary vascular resistance, and 10% and 45% in right ventricular stroke work, respectively. Conclusions In patients with Williams and Alagille syndromes, extensive transcatheter intervention is required to sufficiently reduce PA pressures and right ventricular stroke work. Transcatheter therapy was shown to be ineffective for long‐segment stenosis and pales hemodynamically in comparison with published outcomes of surgical reconstruction. Regardless of the chosen strategy, a virtual treatment planning platform could identify lesions most critical for optimizing right ventricular afterload. 
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