Integrating particle image velocimetry and laser Doppler velocimetry measurements of the regurgitant flow field past mechanical heart valves

V Kini, C Bachmann, A Fontaine, S Deutsch, J M Tarbell
Artificial Organs 2001, 25 (2): 136-45
This study investigates the transient regurgitant flow downstream of a prosthetic heart valve using both laser Doppler velocimetry (LDV) and particle image velocimetry (PIV). Until now, LDV has been the more commonly used tool in investigating the flow characteristics associated with mechanical heart valves. The LDV technique allows point-by-point velocity measurements and provides enough information about the temporal variations in the flow. The main drawback of this technique is the time consuming nature of the data acquisition process in order to assess an entire flow field area. The PIV technique, on the other hand, allows measurement of the entire flow field in space in a plane at a given instant. In this study, PIV with spatial resolution of 0 (1 mm) and LDV with a temporal resolution of 0 (1 ms) were used to measure the regurgitant flow proximal to the Björk-Shiley monostrut (BSM) valve in the mitral position. With PIV, the ability to measure 2 velocity components over an entire plane simultaneously provides a very different insight into the flow field compared to a more traditional point-to-point technique like LDV. In this study, a picture of the effects of occluder motion on the fluid flow in the atrial chamber is interpreted using an integration of PIV and LDV measurements. Specifically, fluid velocities in excess of 3.0 m/s were recorded in the pressure-driven jet during valve closure, and a 1.5 m/s sustained regurgitant jet was observed on the minor orifice side. Additionally, the effects of the impact and subsequent rebound of the occluder on the flow also were clearly recorded in spatial and temporal detail by the PIV and LDV measurements, respectively. The PIV results provide a visually intuitive way of interpreting the flow while the LDV data explore the temporal variations and trends in detail. This analysis is an integrated flow description of the effects of valve closure and leakage on the pulsatile regurgitation flow field past a tilting-disc mechanical heart valve (MHV). It further reinforces the hypothesis that the planar flow visualization techniques, when integrated with traditional point-to point techniques, provide significantly more insight into the complex pulsatile flow past MHVs.

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