Purpose: Restenosis due to distal anastomotic intimal hyperplasia, a leading cause of arterial bypass graft failure, is thought to be promoted by hemodynamic effects, specifically 'abnormal' wall shear stress patterns. The purpose of this study was to quantify the effects of flow waveform on peri-anastomotic flow and wall shear stress patterns. Methods: Blood flow and wall shear stress patterns were numerically computed in a representative three-dimensional anastomosis using femoral, iliac and coronary flow waveforms suitable for humans at rest. Numerical results were validated against experimental data. Results: Peri-anastomotic wall shear stress patterns were influenced by a complex interplay between secondary flow effects and unsteadiness. Peripheral flow waveforms (iliac, femoral) produced large temporal and spatial wall shear stress gradients on the host artery bed. In comparison, the coronary flow waveform produced normalized bed wall shear stress gradients that were a factor of 2-3 less than for the peripheral waveforms, even though average bed wall shear stress magnitudes were similar for the two waveforms. Conclusions: If anastomotic intimal hyperplasia is promoted by large spatial and/or temporal gradients of wall shear stress, as has been proposed, this study predicts that there will be markedly less intimal hyperplasia on the host artery bed of coronary bypass grafts than for peripheral bypass grafts. This information, in conjunction with a comparative histopathologic study of intimal hyperplasia distribution, could help determine specific wall shear stress factors promoting intimal hyperplasia.
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