Arial fibrillation (AF) is a very common diseases of the heart. It is characterized by an irregular contraction of the atria of the heart. This changed motion can lead to blood coagulation, which can cause stroke. In my project, I want to understand how the motion of the left atrium influences the blood flow and how the blood flow is changed in patients with atrial fibrillation.
I focus especially on a structure in the left atrium called left atrial appendage (LAA). The shape and motion of left atrial appendage differs a lot between people and it’s in this region of the heart where most thrombi form.
To look at the heart of patients, I use time-resolved computed tomography (CT) images. These images have a high resolution, but they do not provide direct velocity information. Using the computing power from the National Supercomputer Centre in Sweden (NSC), I calculate the velocity of blood inside the heart based on the high-resolution CT images.