Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) can provide clinicians with otherwise unobtainable information such as regional airway resistance and breathing effort. However, CFD has yet to be validated in vivo and has only been compared to in vitro experiments that do not represent all aspects of airway physiology.
To achieve in vivovalidation, velocities produced by CFD were compared to those measured by phase-contrast MRI of inhaled hyperpolarized 129Xe.
Voxelwise comparison of velocities between the two methods produced an R2 value of 0.75 and a slope of 0.91. Phase-contrast MRI produces a benchmark that allows validation and optimization of CFD simulations.