Personalising cardiovascular network models in pregnancy: A two-tiered parameter estimation approach

Jason M. Carson, Lynne Warrander, Edward Johnstone, Raol Van Loon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Uterine artery Doppler waveforms are often studied to determine whether a patient is at risk of developing pathologies such as pre-eclampsia. Many uterine waveform indices have been developed, which attempt to relate characteristics of the waveform with the physiological adaptation of the maternal cardiovascular system, and are often suggested to be an indicator of increased placenta resistance and arterial stiffness.
Dopplerwaveforms of four patients, two of whom developed pre-eclampsia, are compared with a comprehensive closed-loop model of pregnancy. The closed-loop model has been previously validated, but has been extended to include an improved parameter estimation technique that utilises systolic and diastolic blood pressure, cardiac output, heart rate, and pulse wave velocity measurements to adapt model resistances, compliances, blood volume, and the mean vessel areas in the main systemic arteries. The shape of the model-predicted uterine artery velocity waveforms showed good agreement with the characteristics observed in the patient Doppler waveforms. The personalised models obtained now allow a prediction of the uterine pressure waveforms in addition to the uterine velocity. This allows for a more detailed mechanistic analysis of the waveforms, e.g. wave intensity analysis, to study existing clinical indices. The findings indicate that to accurately estimate arterial stiffness, both pulse pressure and pulse wave velocities are required. In addition the results predict that patients who developed pre-eclampsia later in pregnancy have larger vessel areas in the main systemic arteries compared to the two patients who had normal pregnancy outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering
Early online date4 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2020


  • uterine artery waveforms
  • pregnancy
  • personalized haemodynamic models
  • parameter estimation
  • preeclampsia


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