Impact of blood rheology on wall shear stress in a model of the middle cerebral artery
Perturbations to the homeostatic distribution of mechanical forces exerted by blood on the endothelial layer have been correlated with vascular pathologies, including intracranial aneurysms and atherosclerosis. Recent computational work suggests that, in order to correctly characterize such forces, the shear-thinning properties of blood must be taken into account. To the best of our knowledge, these findings have never been compared against experimentally observed pathological thresholds. In this work, we apply the three-band diagram (TBD) analysis due to Gizzi et al. (Gizzi et al. 2011 Three-band decomposition analysis of wall shear stress in pulsatile flows. Phys. Rev. E 83, 031902. (doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.83.031902)) to assess the impact of the choice of blood rheology model on a computational model of the right middle cerebral artery. Our results show that, in the model under study, the differences between the wall shear stress predicted by a Newtonian model and the well-known Carreau–Yasuda generalized Newtonian model are only significant if the vascular pathology under study is associated with a pathological threshold in the range 0.94–1.56 Pa, where the results of the TBD analysis of the rheology models considered differs. Otherwise, we observe no significant differences.