Large Eddy Simulation of flow in realistic human upper airways with obstructive sleep

M. Z. Lu, Yang Liu, J. Y. Ye, H. Y. Luo

Research output: Journal article publicationConference articleAcademic researchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common type of sleep disorder characterized by abnormal repetitive cessation in breathing during sleep caused by partial or complete narrowing of pharynx in the upper airway. The upper airway surgery is commonly performed for this disorder, however the success rate is limited because the lack of the thorough understanding of the primary mechanism associated with OSA. The computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation with Large Eddy Simulation (LES) approach is conducted to investigate two patient-specific upper airway flow with severe OSA. Both pre and post-surgical upper airway models are simulated to investigate the capability of CFD simulation for the prediction of the OSA surgery. Only the inhaled breathing is conducted with six periods (about 15 second) unsteady flow. Compared with the results before and after treatment, it is illustrated that there exists a significant pressure and shear stress dropping region near the soft palate before treatment; and after the treatment the flow resistance in the upper airway is decreased and the wall shear stress value is significantly reduced which means both surgery are successful. The analyze from the CFD is consistent with the parameters of clinical and LES can be a good tool for OSA study. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-564
Number of pages8
JournalProcedia Computer Science
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Event14th Annual International Conference on Computational Science, ICCS 2014 - Cairns, QLD, Australia
Duration: 10 Jun 201412 Jun 2014


  • CFD
  • Large Eddy Simulation
  • OSA
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science


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