Fluid mechanics of heart valves

Ajit P. Yoganathan, Zhaoming He, S. Casey Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

285 Scopus citations


Valvular heart disease is a life-threatening disease that afflicts millions of people worldwide and leads to approximately 250,000 valve repairs and/or replacements each year. Malfunction of a native valve impairs its efficient fluid mechanic/hemodynamic performance. Artificial heart valves have been used since 1960 to replace diseased native valves and have saved millions of lives. Unfortunately, despite four decades of use, these devices are less than ideal and lead to many complications. Many of these complications/problems are directly related to the fluid mechanics associated with the various mechanical and bioprosthetic valve designs. This review focuses on the state-of-the-art experimental and computational fluid mechanics of native and prosthetic heart valves in current clinical use. The fluid dynamic performance characteristics of caged-ball, tilting-disc, bileaflet mechanical valves and porcine and pericardial stented and nonstented bioprostheic valves are reviewed. Other issues related to heart valve performance, such as biomaterials, solid mechanics, tissue mechanics, and durability, are not addressed in this review.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-362
Number of pages32
JournalAnnual Review of Biomedical Engineering
StatePublished - 2004


  • Bioprosthetic valves
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Laser Doppler velocimetry
  • Mechanical heart valves
  • Native heart valves


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