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Research project

Congenital cardiovascular disease

Status: Ongoing project

This research project studies the influence of biomechanical stress on the cardiovascular system in the presence of congenital malformations.

What we do

About our project

Congenital heart disease is the most common birth defect with an estimated incidence of 1 in 100 live birth. Among many reported congenital defects, univentricular heart defects represent the most severe end of the spectrum, in which most commonly one ventricle is severely underdeveloped and thereby unable to drive the systemic or pulmonary circulation. Even though many surgical approaches have been proposed and applied resulting in increased life-expectancy, patients with congenital cardiovascular disease can still suffer from long-term complications related to the local biomechanical stress. Therefore, studies on the influence of biomechanical stress on local geometrical adaptations can potentially inform treatment and surgery strategies.

In our studies we make use of imaging and image based modeling to assess local biomechanical parameters in for instance the Fontan circulation or in the ascending aorta in patients born with bicuspid valves. For these studies MRI imaging is often used either to derive directly hemodynamic parameters, including flow or shear stress or as input parameter for computational fluid dynamics to quantify for instance power loss, viscous energy loss or stagnation volume. Longitudinal image and data acquisition are applied to link these biomechanical parameters to outcome in these patients.

Our research focus

The ultimate goal of our studies is to find biomechanical parameters that are associated with adaptations of the cardiovascular systems and/or clinical outcome parameters. 

Funds & Grants



Internal collaborations

External collaborations


  1. Rijnberg FM, Hazekamp MG, Wentzel JJ, de Koning PJH, Westenberg JJM, Jongbloed MRM, Blom NA, Roest AAW.  Energetics of Blood Flow in Cardiovascular Disease: Concept and Clinical Implications of Adverse Energetics in Patients With a Fontan Circulation. Circulation. 2018 May 29;137(22):2393-2407. 
  2. Bossers SS, Cibis M, Kapusta L, Potters WV, Snoeren MM, Wentzel JJ, Moelker A, Helbing WA. Long-Term Serial Follow-Up of Pulmonary Artery Size and Wall Shear Stress in Fontan Patients. Pediatr Cardiol. 2016 Apr;37(4):637-45 
  3. Cibis M, Jarvis K, Markl M, Rose M, Rigsby C, Barker AJ, Wentzel JJ The effect of resolution on viscous dissipation measured with 4D flow MRI in patients with Fontan circulation: Evaluation using computational fluid dynamics. .J Biomech. 2015 Sep 18;48(12):2984-9. 
  4. Bossers SS, Cibis M, Gijsen FJ, Schokking M, Strengers JL, Verhaart RF, Moelker A, Wentzel JJ, Helbing WA. Computational fluid dynamics in Fontan patients to evaluate power loss during simulated exercise. Heart. 2014 May;100(9):696-701.

Our team