Finished projects Finished projects

Return to Full Page
Back

COMPILAAO

Chicken wings in the heart? Computational tools for investigating the morphology and blood flow after LAAO interventions in AF patients (COMPILAAO)

Chicken wings in the heart? Computational tools for investigating the morphology and blood flow after LAAO interventions in AF patients (COMPILAAO)
The main objective of the COMPILAAO project is to develop advanced computational tools to characterize the 3D morphology and investigate the blood flow dynamics after LAAO interventions to improve our knowledge about the pathophysiological...

The left atrial appendage (LAA) is a complex structure in the left atrium of the heart and is
involved in several heart pathologies, such as atrial fibrillation, and is the most frequent
location for thrombus formation that often leads to stroke. During the past years,
interventional LAA occlusion (LAAO) techniques and devices have been developed to reduce
the risk of stroke in atrial fibrillation patients. These interventions are planned using different
medical imaging modalities to determine the best approach to reach the appendage and to
select the implanted device. This needs to be patient-specific since individual LAA's have
different shapes, which are commonly classified in four types: Chicken Wing, Cactus,
Cauliflower and Windsock. A good placement of the device is crucial for avoiding the need
for multiple attempts that increase the risk of complications and can lead to bloodflow leaks
or even the embolization of the device.
The use of imaging technologies is fundamental for LAAO interventions. Nevertheless, they
often provide different geometrical measurements and they offer limited information on the
blood flow dynamics after intervention. Moreover, the processing of these images is usually
quite simple and manual, inducing high inter-operator variability. These limitations, and the
impossibility to obtain additional high-resolution in vivo data, hamper a better understanding
of the role of the LAA in the cardiovascular system and the best appraoch towards avoiding
thrombus formation.
The main objective of the COMPILAAO project is to develop advanced computational tools to
characterize the 3D morphology and investigate the blood flow dynamics after LAAO
interventions to improve our knowledge about the pathophysiological mechanisms involving
the LAA and how this is modulated by the intervention.