The ABC's: Atherosclerosis, Blood Flow, and the Carotid Artery
Beers, Craig; Jennifer, Burlingame; Johnson, Leigh Ann; Stepp, Eliza
The effects of blood flow were analyzed in the carotid artery, using computer aided engineering software (FIDAP and GAMBIT). The study was conducted because patients that have atherosclerosis often have plaque build up on the interior walls of the carotid artery directly before bifurcation. The design objectives were to analyze the velocity and shear stress through the carotid artery as the common section splits into the external and sinus sections. The results obtained demonstrated minimal velocity and shear stress in both the sinus and external sections of the artery. These differ from the expectations. In reality neither velocity nor shear stress decrease to this extent in normal blood flow through arteries. The results should have shown a decrease in both velocity and shear stress directly before the bifurcation. The plots obtained did demonstrate decreased velocity near the interior walls of the artery, as expected. Errors in the results relate to numerical problems with meshing. Further studies should be conducted to improve upon these results and include more realistic, less simplified parameters.