In the cardiovascular system, morphology and functionality are closely related. The observation that atherosclerotic lesions appear with different incidence in the various sites and prefer bifurcations, suggested that vascular architecture might be an important pathogenic factor. Vascular geometry deals with the evaluation of the "form" element from a theoretical point of a view, pointing out the angles and diameters which can make the arterial system physiologically more efficient. The key element of the system is the bifurcation: depending on whether bifurcations are considered as a single entity or as a whole, either "local" or "global" geometry is employed. The morphology of the bifurcation directly affects blood flow patterns, influencing both blood flow velocity and wall shear stress. Experimental studies evidenced that high blood flow velocities and low wall shear stress have, respectively, a preventive or favorable role in atheroma development. By observing these altered flow sites, the areas which are most likely to develop atherosclerotic damage have been detected in the various bifurcations; the areas correspond to angiographic and autoptic findings. Based on their experience, the authors discuss the contribution that the different imaging techniques can give to the study of vascular geometry.
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1992|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging