Spatial and phasic oscillation of non-Newtonian wall shear stress in human left coronary artery bifurcation: An insight to atherogenesis

Johannes V. Soulis, George D. Giannoglou, Yiannis S. Chatzizisis, Thomas M. Farmakis, George A. Giannakoulas, George E. Parcharidis, George E. Louridas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To investigate the wall shear stress oscillation in a normal human left coronary artery bifurcation computational model by applying non-Newtonian blood properties and phasic flow. METHODS: The three-dimensional geometry of the investigated model included the left main coronary artery along with its two main branches, namely the left anterior descending and the left circumflex artery. For the computational analyses a pulsatile non-Newtonian flow was applied. To evaluate the cyclic variations in wall shear stress, six characteristic time-points of the cardiac cycle were selected. The non-Newtonian wall shear stress variation was compared with the Newtonian one. RESULTS: The wall shear stress varied remarkably in time and space. The flow divider region encountered higher wall shear stress values than the lateral walls throughout the entire cardiac cycle. The wall shear stress exhibited remarkably lower and oscillatory values in systole as compared with that in diastole in the entire bifurcation region, especially in the lateral walls. Although the Newtonian wall shear stress experienced consistently lower values throughout the entire cardiac cycle than the non-Newtonian wall shear stress, the general pattern of lower wall shear stress values at the lateral walls, particularly during systole, was evident regardless of the blood properties. CONCLUSIONS: The lateral walls of the bifurcation, where low and oscillating wall shear stress is observed, are more susceptible to atherosclerosis. The systolic period, rather than the diastolic one, favors the development and progression of atherosclerosis. The blood viscosity properties do not seem to qualitatively affect the spatial and temporal distribution of the wall shear stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-358
Number of pages8
JournalCoronary Artery Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Computational analysis
  • Coronary atherosclerosis
  • Non Newtonian blood
  • Phasic flow
  • Wall shear stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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