Calibration of an Electrical Analog Model of Liver Hemodynamics in Fontan Patients

Elyar Abbasi Bavil, Matthew G. Doyle, Charlotte Debbaut, Rachel M. Wald, Luc Mertens, Thomas L. Forbes, Cristina H. Amon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fontan associated liver disease is a common complication in patients with Fontan circulation, who were born with a single functioning heart ventricle. The hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG) is used to assess liver health and is a surrogate measure of the pressure gradient across the entire liver (portal pressure gradient (PPG)). However, it is thought to be inaccurate in Fontan patients. The main objectives of this study were (1) to apply an existing detailed lumped parameter model (LPM) of the liver to Fontan patients using patient-specific clinical data and (2) to determine whether HVPG is a suitable measurement of PPGs in these patients. An existing LPM of the liver blood circulation was applied and tuned to simulate patient-specific liver hemodynamics. Geometries were collected from seven adult Fontan patients and used to evaluate model parameters. The model was solved and tuned using waveform measurements of flows, inlet and outlet pressures. The predicted ratio of portal to hepatic venous pressures is comparable to in vivo measurements. The results confirmed that HVPG is not suitable for Fontan patients, as it would underestimate the portal pressures gradient by a factor of 3 to 4. Our patient-specific liver model provides an estimate of the pressure drop across the liver, which differs from the clinically used metric HVPG. This work represents a first step toward models suitable to assess liver health in Fontan patients and improve its long-term management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number031011
JournalJournal of Biomechanical Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Fontan procedure
  • biological system modeling
  • electrical analog model
  • fluid dynamics
  • liver hemodynamics


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