Background Effective relief of tracheal stenosis (TS) caused by complete vascular ring (CRV) is mandatory for vascular ring surgery (VRS).Even the forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1) measurement is usually applied to assess TS caused by CVR, here has been little research about the quantitative approach for analyzing the airway. Our purpose will apply the computational fluid dynamic (CFD) technique to evaluate the change of tracheal airway pressure by VRS.
Methods 12 patients with CVR and TS were found of pressure drops across the tracheal airway segment of TS before and after the VRS. CFD was performed to obtain the velocity field and viscous pressure drops in a realistic, three-dimensional, patient-specific model. The tracheal aerodynamic resistance was represented as a pressure drop in the tracheal airway. Three velocities (0.01, 0.1, and 1 m/s) were used to calculate the pressure drop in the tracheal airway for both inspiratory and expiratory flow patterns.
Results The pressure drops of the TS before and after the VRS at inlet velocity 0.1 m/s was improved 45.95% in inspiratory phase and 40.65% in expiratory phase. When the inspiratory inlet velocity reached 1 m/s, the pressure drop became improved of 43.32 %. CFD showed a surgical treatment can significantly decrease the pressure drop in the tracheal airway, especially in a low inlet velocity.
Conclusion CVR can augment the airway flow resistance of TS. The CFD approach can be a useful alternative for quantifying the change of airway resistance and evaluating the effectiveness of VRS.
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