In a previous post, I discussed how CFD can help to save newborn lives. Today, I will focus on another advancement in medicine that is generally based on the same approach: patient-specific CFD studies to treat disease. The Chiari malformation is a malformation of the brain that can cause headaches, fatigue, muscle weakness in the head and face, difficulty swallowing, dizziness, nausea, impaired coordination, and, in severe cases, paralysis (source: “Chiari malformation: Symptoms.” Mayo Clinic. November 13, 2008).
What physicians discovered is that this malformation alters the dynamic movement of fluid in the brain. This alteration is the cause for all of the malformation’s side effects. It can be corrected by a surgery that has a 70 percent success rate. This is good, but not good enough.
This is where CFD comes in. Can the success rate be improved thanks to CFD? Doctors Bryn Martin and Francis Loth from the University of Akron proved that the answer to this question is most probably yes. They designed a method to apply patient-specific MRI data of the brain in performing diagnostic procedures and planning for surgery (as needed). I really hope doctors Martin and Loth are successful! What a great use of CFD!
After reading this article, I thought about all the improvement CFD and simulation can add. In this case, the surgery success rate is 70 percent. Can CFD improve this success rate? Probably. Can CFD help in other health related topics? I have no doubt! Another great article about CFD use in the healthcare industry was published in ANSYS Advantage magazine entitled the Taming the Cost of Respiratory Drug Development. Now I wonder how many other industries and sectors can benefit from CFD. In my opinion, the number of areas where CFD can help improve performance is limitless!
If you want more information about simulation and healthcare, I invite you to visit the ANSYS healthcare industry website.
Please contact me if you know of any new usage of CFD in the healthcare industry!