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Purpose: Hemodynamics has a key role in the atheropathogenesis. Indeed, atherosclerotic phenomena occur in vessels characterized by complex geometry and flow pattern, like the carotid bifurcation. Moreover, the lifestyle is a significant risk factor. The aim of this study is to evaluate the hemodynamic effects due to two sedentary lifestyles -sitting and standing positions- in the carotid bifurcation in order to identify the worst condition and to investigate the atherosclerosis incidence. Methods: The computational fluid dynamics (CFD) was chosen to carry out the analysis, in which in-vivo non-invasive measurements were used as boundary conditions. Furthermore, to compare the two conditions, one patient-specific 3D model of a carotid bifurcation was reconstructed starting from computer tomography. Different mechanical indicators, correlated with atherosclerosis incidence, were calculated in addition to flow pattern and pressure distribution: the time average wall shear stress (TAWSS), the oscillatory shear index (OSI) and the relative residence time (RRT). Results: The results have highlighted that the bulb and the external carotid artery emergence are the most probable regions in which atherosclerotic events could happen. Indeed, low velocity and WSS values, high OSI and, as a consequence, areas with chaotic-swirling flow, with stasis (high RRT), occur. Moreover, the sitting position is the worst condition: considering a cardiac cycle, TAWSS is less than 17.2% and OSI and RRT are greater than 17.5% and 21.2%, respectively. Conclusions: This study suggests that if a person spends much time in the sitting position, a high risk of plaque formation and, consequently, of stenosis could happen.
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