The effective orifice area (EOA) is the most commonly used parameter to assess the severity of aortic valve stenosis as well as the performance of valve substitutes. Particle image velocimetry (PIV) may be used for in vitro estimation of valve EOA. In the present study, we propose a new and simple method based on Howe’s developments of Lighthill’s aero-acoustic theory. This method is based on an acoustical source term (AST) to estimate the EOA from the transvalvular flow velocity measurements obtained by PIV. The EOAs measured by the AST method downstream of three sharp-edged orifices were in excellent agreement with the EOAs predicted from the potential flow theory used as the reference method in this study. Moreover, the AST method was more accurate than other conventional PIV methods based on streamlines, inflexion point or vorticity to predict the theoretical EOAs. The superiority of the AST method is likely due to the nonlinear form of the AST. There was also an excellent agreement between the EOAs measured by the AST method downstream of the three sharp-edged orifices as well as downstream of a bioprosthetic valve with those obtained by the conventional clinical method based on Doppler-echocardiographic measurements of transvalvular velocity. The results of this study suggest that this new simple PIV method provides an accurate estimation of the aortic valve flow EOA. This new method may thus be used as a reference method to estimate the EOA in experimental investigation of the performance of valve substitutes and to validate Doppler-echocardiographic measurements under various physiologic and pathologic flow conditions.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2005
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