High resolution hemodynamic profiling of murine arteriovenous fistula using magnetic resonance imaging and computational fluid dynamics

Academic Article


  • Background: Arteriovenous fistula (AVF) maturation failure remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality in hemodialysis patients. The two major etiologies of AVF maturation failure are early neointimal hyperplasia development and persistent inadequate outward remodeling. Although hemodynamic changes following AVF creation may impact AVF remodeling and contribute to neointimal hyperplasia development and impaired outward remodeling, detailed AVF hemodynamics are not yet fully known. Since murine AVF models are valuable tools for investigating the pathophysiology of AVF maturation failure, there is a need for a new approach that allows the hemodynamic characterization of murine AVF at high resolutions. Methods: This methods paper presents a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based computational fluid dynamic (CFD) method that we developed to rigorously quantify the evolving hemodynamic environment in murine AVF. The lumen geometry of the entire murine AVF was reconstructed from high resolution, non-contrast 2D T2-weighted fast spin echo MRI sequence, and the flow rates of the AVF inflow and outflow were extracted from a gradient echo velocity mapping sequence. Using these MRI-obtained lumen geometry and inflow information, CFD modeling was performed and used to calculate blood flow velocity and hemodynamic factors at high resolutions (on the order of 0.5 μm spatially and 0.1 ms temporally) throughout the entire AVF lumen. We investigated both the wall properties (including wall shear stress (WSS), wall shear stress spatial gradient, and oscillatory shear index (OSI)) and the volumetric properties (including vorticity, helicity, and Q-criterion). Results: Our results demonstrate increases in AVF flow velocity, WSS, spatial WSS gradient, and OSI within 3 weeks post-AVF creation when compared to pre-surgery. We also observed post-operative increases in flow disturbances and vortices, as indicated by increased vorticity, helicity, and Q-criterion. Conclusions: This novel protocol will enable us to undertake future mechanistic studies to delineate the relationship between hemodynamics and AVF development and characterize biological mechanisms that regulate local hemodynamic factors in transgenic murine AVF models.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Pike D; Shiu YT; Somarathna M; Guo L; Isayeva T; Totenhagen J; Lee T
  • Volume

  • 14
  • Issue

  • 1