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Flow and anastomosis in vascular networks

Authors: Joaquín Flores, Alejandro Meza Romero, Rui DM Travasso, Eugenia Corvera Poiré

Ref.: Journal of Theoretical Biology 317, 257-270 (2013)

Abstract: We analyze the effect that the geometrical place of anastomosis in the circulatory tree has on blood flow. We introduce an idealized model that consists of a symmetric network for the arterial and venous vascular trees. We consider that the network contains a viscoelastic fluid with the rheological characteristics of blood, and analyze the network hydrodynamic response to a time-dependent periodic pressure gradient. This response is a measurement of the resistance to flow: the larger the response, the smaller the resistance to flow. We find that for networks whose vessels have the same radius and length, the outer the level of the branching tree in which anastomosis occurs, the larger the network response. Moreover, when anastomosis is incorporated in the form of bypasses that bridge vessels at different bifurcation levels, the further apart are the levels bridged by the bypass, the larger the response is. Furthermore, we apply the model to the available information for the dog circulatory system and find that the effect that anastomosis causes at different bifurcation levels is strongly determined by the structure of the underlying network without anastomosis. We rationalize our results by introducing two idealized models and approximated analytical expressions that allow us to argue that, to a large extent, the response of the network with anastomosis is determined locally. We have also considered the influence of the myogenic effect. This one has a large quantitative impact on the network response. However, the qualitative behavior of the network response with anastomosis is the same with or without consideration of the myogenic effect. That is, it depends on the structure that the underlying vessel network has in a small neighborhood around the place where anastomosis occurs. This implies that whenever there is an underlying tree-like network in an in vivo vasculature, our model is able to interpret the anastomotic effect.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2012.10.005

URL: www.sciencedirect.com