Advancing the Diagnosis and Quantification of Mitral Valve Regurgitation with Mathematical Modeling

DMS-1263572 (University of Houston) DMS-1263580 (The Methodist Hospital Houston)
Supported jointly by NSF and NIH


Mitral regurgitation (MR) is a valvular disease in which the mitral valve does not close properly, thereby allowing blood to flow backward from the left ventricle to the left atrium of the heart. MR is among the most prevalent valve problems in the Western world. Doppler echocardiography has recently emerged as the method of choice for the non-invasive detection and evaluation of MR severity. However, due to the various color Doppler limitations, the accurate quantification of MR remains one of the major challenges in modern echocardiography. This is particularly the case with eccentric, wall-hugging regurgitant jets, known as the Coanda effect. This form of MR is currently very difficult to quantify and may lead to gross under-estimation of regurgitant volume by inexperienced cardiovascular observers. Using mathematical modeling, bifurcation analysis, and numerical simulations, combined with the in vitro experimental modeling of MR, and clinical experience, the investigators are developing a state-of-the-art tool for accurate non-invasive assessment of mitral regurgitation. The mathematical approach utilizes the most recent advances in fluid-structure interaction, modeling the flow of an incompressible, viscous fluid, coupled with the motion of an elastic regurgitant orifice simulating the regurgitant valve. A bifurcation diagram providing the information about different types of MR is being developed. The in vitro model is based on a pulsatile flow loop incorporating a mock imaging chamber, which contains a regurgitant orifice simulating the flow conditions encountered in patients with MR.



  • Prof. Jane Grande-Allen, Professor, Rice University
  • Yifan Wang, Postdoctoral Associate, University of Houston
  • Matthew Jackson, Engineer, The Methodist Hospital in Houston
  • Prof. Alessandro Veneziani, Associate Professor, Emory University
  • Steffen Basting, PhD Graduate Student, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany
  • Tiziano Passerini, Ph.D., Research Scientist at Siemens, New Jersey.


  • Acara Turner, Undergraduate Student, University of Houston


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    UH contribution: Click here to get to the pdf presentation (UH part).
    Methodist contribution: Click here to get to the pdf presentation (Methodist part).


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  • Stent Dynamics (protruding into aortic abdominal aneurysm (aneurysm not shown)) (with D. Mirkovic) [gif]