Biophysical Model of the Spatial Heterogeneity of Myocardial Flow

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The blood flow in the myocardium has significant spatial heterogeneity. The objective of this study was to develop a biophysical model based on detailed anatomical data to determine the heterogeneity of regional myocardial flow during diastole. The model predictions were compared with experimental measurements in a diastolic porcine heart in the absence of vessel tone using nonradioactive fluorescent microsphere measurements. The results from the model and experimental measurements showed good agreement. The relative flow dispersion in the arrested, vasodilated heart was found to be 44% and 48% numerically and experimentally, respectively. Furthermore, the flow dispersion was found to have fractal characteristics with fractal dimensions (D) of 1.25 and 1.27 predicted by the model and validated by the experiments, respectively. This validated three-dimensional model of normal diastolic heart will play an important role in elucidating the spatial heterogeneity of coronary blood flow, and serve as a foundation for understanding the interplay between cardiac mechanics and coronary hemodynamics.