Flow simulations of rectal evacuation: towards a quantitative evaluation from video defaecography
Mechanistic understanding of anorectal (patho)physiology is missing to improve the medical care of patients suffering from defaecation disorders. Our objective is to show that complex fluid dynamics modelling of video defaecography may open new perspectives in the diagnosis of defaecation disorders. Based on standard X-ray video defaecographies, we developed a bi-dimensional patient-specific simulation of the expulsion of soft materials, the faeces, by the rectum. The model quantified velocity, pressure and stress fields during the defaecation of a neostool with soft stool-like rheology for patients showing normal and pathological defaecatory function. In normal defaecation, the proximal–distal pressure gradient resulted from both the anorectal junction which formed a converging channel and the anal canal. The flow of the neostool through these anatomical parts was dominated by its shear-thinning viscous properties, rather than its yield stress. Consequently, the evacuation flow rate was significantly affected by variations in pressure applied by the rectum, and much less by the geometry of the anorectal junction. Lastly, we simulated impaired defaecations in the absence of obvious obstructive phenomena. Comparison with normal defaecation allowed us to discuss critical elements which should lead to effective medical management.
DomainesSciences du Vivant [q-bio] Médecine humaine et pathologie Hépatologie et Gastroentérologie Sciences de l'ingénieur [physics] Mécanique [physics.med-ph] Biomécanique [physics.med-ph] Sciences de l'ingénieur [physics] Mécanique [physics.med-ph] Mécanique des fluides [physics.class-ph] Physique [physics] Matière Condensée [cond-mat] Matière Molle [cond-mat.soft]
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