Impact of Side Branches on the Computation of Fractional Flow in Intracranial Arterial Stenosis Using the Computational Fluid Dynamics Method

Haipeng Liu, Linfang Lan, Xinyi Leng, Hing Lung Ip, Thomas W.H. Leung, Defeng Wang, Ka Sing Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) allows noninvasive fractional flow (FF) computation in intracranial arterial stenosis. Removal of small artery branches is necessary in CFD simulation. The consequent effects on FF value needs to be judged. Methods: An idealized vascular model was built with 70% focal luminal stenosis. A branch with one third or one half of the radius of the parent vessel was added at a distance of 5, 10, 15 and 20 mm to the lesion. With pressure and flow rate applied as inlet and outlet boundary conditions, CFD simulations were performed. Flow distribution at bifurcations followed Murray's law. By including or removing side branches, five patient-specific intracranial artery models were simulated. Transient simulation was performed on a patient-specific model, with a larger branch for validation. Branching effect was considered trivial if the FF difference between paired models (branches included or removed) was within 5%. Results: Compared with the control model without a branch, in all idealized models the relative differences of FF was within 2%. In five pairs of cerebral arteries (branches included/removed), FFs were 0.876 and 0.877, 0.853 and 0.858, 0.874 and 0.869, 0.865 and 0.858, 0.952 and 0.948. The relative difference in each pair was less than 1%. In transient model, the relative difference of FF was 3.5%. Conclusion: The impact of removing side branches with radius less than 50% of the parent vessel on FF measurement accuracy is negligible in static CFD simulations, and minor in transient CFD simulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-52
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases, 27, (2017)]
DOI: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2017.02.032

© 2017, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


  • computational fluid dynamics
  • fractional flow
  • intracranial arterial stenosis
  • Side branches

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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