The aim of this study was development of a workflow to quantitatively define the influence of the LAA morphology on LA hemodynamics. Five 3D LA anatomical models characterized by the same LA chamber and different LAAs derived from real clinical data were created. These new anatomical models represented the computational domain for the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. The shape of the LAAs was geometrically characterized and correlated with blood velocity, vorticity, LAA orifice velocity, residence time resulting from the CFD analysis.
Results (see Figure) showed that not only complex morphologies were characterized by low velocities and vorticity; even qualitatively simple morphologies showed a thrombogenic risk equal or higher than more complex LAAs. CFD results supported the hypothesis that LAA geometric characterization play a key-role in defining thromboembolic risk.
The proposed procedure might address the development of a tool for patient-specific cardioembolic risk assessment and preventive treatment in AF patients, relying on LAA morpho-functional characterization.