Use of mathematic modeling to compare and predict hemodynamic effects of the modified Blalock-Taussig and right ventricle-pulmonary artery shunts for hypoplastic left heart syndrome

Edward L Bove, Francesco Migliavacca, Marc R de Leval, Rossella Balossino, Giancarlo Pennati, Thomas R Lloyd, Sachin Khambadkone, Tain-Yen Hsia, Gabriele Dubini
Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery 2008, 136 (2): 312-320.e2

OBJECTIVE: Stage one reconstruction (Norwood operation) for hypoplastic left heart syndrome can be performed with either a modified Blalock-Taussig shunt or a right ventricle-pulmonary artery shunt. Both methods have certain inherent characteristics. It is postulated that mathematic modeling could help elucidate these differences.

METHODS: Three-dimensional computer models of the Blalock-Taussig shunt and right ventricle-pulmonary artery shunt modifications of the Norwood operation were developed by using the finite volume method. Conduits of 3, 3.5, and 4 mm were used in the Blalock-Taussig shunt model, whereas conduits of 4, 5, and 6 mm were used in the right ventricle-pulmonary artery shunt model. The hydraulic nets (lumped resistances, compliances, inertances, and elastances) were identical in the 2 models. A multiscale approach was adopted to couple the 3-dimensional models with the circulation net. Computer simulations were compared with postoperative catheterization data.

RESULTS: Good correlation was found between predicted and observed data. For the right ventricle-pulmonary artery shunt modification, there was higher aortic diastolic pressure, decreased pulmonary artery pressure, lower Qp/Qs ratio, and higher coronary perfusion pressure. Mathematic modeling predicted minimal regurgitant flow in the right ventricle-pulmonary artery shunt model, which correlated with postoperative Doppler measurements. The right ventricle-pulmonary artery shunt demonstrated lower stroke work and a higher mechanical efficiency (stroke work/total mechanical energy).

CONCLUSIONS: The close correlation between predicted and observed data supports the use of mathematic modeling in the design and assessment of surgical procedures. The potentially damaging effects of a systemic ventriculotomy in the right ventricle-pulmonary artery shunt modification of the Norwood operation have not been analyzed.


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