Computational fluid dynamic comparison between patch-based and primary closure techniques after carotid endarterectomy

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Objective: The aim of the study was to provide, by means of computational fluid dynamics, a comparative analysis after carotid endarterectomy (CEA) between patch graft (PG) and primary closure (PC) techniques performed in real carotid geometries to identify disturbed flow conditions potentially involved in the development of restenosis. Methods: Eight carotid geometries in seven asymptomatic patients who underwent CEA were analyzed. In six cases (A-F), CEA was performed using PG closure; in two cases (G and H), PC was performed. Three-dimensional carotid geometries, derived from postoperative magnetic resonance angiography, were reconstructed, and a computational fluid dynamics analysis was performed. A virtual scenario with PC closure was designed in patients in whom PG was originally inserted and vice versa. This allowed us to compare for each patient hemodynamic effects in the PG and PC scenarios in terms of oscillatory shear index (OSI) and relative residence time (RRT), considered indicators of disturbed flow. Results: For the six original PG cases, the mean averaged-in-space OSI was 0.07 ± 0.01 for PG and 0.03 ± 0.02 for virtual-PC (difference, 0.04 ± 0.01; P =.0016). The mean of the percentage of area (%A) with OSI >0.2 resulted in 10.08% ± 3.38% for PG and 3.80% ± 3.22% for virtual-PC (difference, 6.28 ± 1.91; P =.008). For the same cases, the mean of the averaged-in-space RRT resulted in 5.48 ± 3.40 1/Pa for PG and 2.62 ± 1.12 1/Pa for virtual-PC (difference, 2.87 ± 1.46; P =.097). The mean of %A RRT >4.0 1/Pa resulted in 26.53% ± 12.98% for PG and 9.95% ± 6.53% for virtual-PC (difference, 16.58 ± 5.93; P =.025). For the two original PC cases, the averaged-in-space OSIs were 0.02 and 0.04 for PC and 0.03 and 0.02 for virtual-PG; the %A OSIs >0.2 were 0.9% and 7.6% for PC and 3.0% and 2.2% for virtual-PG; the averaged-in-space RRTs were 1.8 and 2.0 1/Pa for PC and 2.9 and 1.9 1/Pa for virtual-PG; the %A RRTs >4.0 1/Pa were 6.8% and 9.8% for PC and 9.4% and 6.2% for virtual-PG. These results revealed generally higher disturbed flows in the PG configurations with respect to the PC ones. Conclusions: OSI and RRT values were generally higher in PG cases with respect to PC, especially for high carotids or when the arteriotomy is mainly at the bulb region. Thus, an elective use of patch should be considered to prevent disturbed flows. Clinical Relevance: We analyzed the effects of the closure technique after carotid endarterectomy on hemodynamic quantities by comparing real cases and virtual scenarios in which the patch graft (PG) has been removed or inserted. PG virtual removal did not seem to create negative hemodynamic effects on the carotid bifurcation but rather seemed to allow a reduction of disturbed flows. The insertion of PG in an already wider carotid bifurcation could further enhance disordered flow development. This indiscriminate artificial enlargement due to the PG insertion in the carotid section could create pernicious flows that could enhance restenosis instead of preventing it.




Domanin, M., Bissacco, D., Le Van, D., & Vergara, C. (2018). Computational fluid dynamic comparison between patch-based and primary closure techniques after carotid endarterectomy. Journal of Vascular Surgery, 67(3), 887–897.

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