The fluid dynamics inside the left ventricle of the human heart is considered a potential indicator of long term cardiovascular outcome. In this respect, numerical simulations can play an important role for integrating existing technology to reproduce flow details and even conditions associated to virtual therapeutic solutions. Nevertheless, numerical models encounter serious practical difficulties in describing the interaction between flow and surrounding tissues due to the limited information inherently available in real clinical applications.
This study presents a computational method for the fluid dynamics inside the left ventricle designed to be efficiently integrated in clinical scenarios. It includes an original model of the mitral valve dynamics, which describes an asymptotic behavior for tissues with no elastic stiffness other than the constrain of the geometry obtained from medical imaging; in particular, the model provides an asymptotic description without requiring details of tissue properties that may not be measurable in vivo.
The advantages of this model with respect to a valveless orifice and its limitations with respect to a complete tissue modeling are verified. Its performances are then analyzed in details to ensure a correct interpretation of results. It represents a potential option when information about tissue mechanical properties is insufficient for the implementations of a full fluid-structure interaction approach.