Double Outlet Right Ventricle (DORV) is a rare malformation of the fetal heart resulting in a hole between the two ventricles along with a misplaced aortic valve that connects partially or completely to the right ventricle. In those with this condition, oxygenated blood from the left ventricle mixes with deoxygenated blood from the right ventricle, and this blended blood is sent through both the aorta and pulmonary artery to the body and lungs.

To better understand this rare condition, Collia et al. developed a numerical model of blood flow and mixing inside the heart of a DORV patient. Their model can help guide medical interventions and improve patient outcomes.

For patients with severe DORV, surgery on the heart or surrounding vessels is critical. For less severe cases, a corrective intervention approach can be used to restore the normal anatomy of the heart, or a palliative intervention can postpone a subsequent complete correction.

“Being very rare, it is not always easy to understand DORV anatomy, which often presents quite differently despite being classified into several subtypes,” said author Dario Collia. “For this reason, we are trying to deepen our knowledge of this malformation, because a greater understanding can make a difference in diagnostic and surgical interventions.”

Using their simulation, the authors were able to quantify the amount of mixing and the proportion of oxygenated and deoxygenated blood entering each artery. They hope this data will aid in earlier diagnosis and treatment of DORV.

“This could help medicine understand how blood is distributed from its earliest moments and design new ways of intervening both before and after childbirth,” said Collia.

Source: “Analysis of the distribution and orientation of oxygenated and non-oxygenated blood in a Double Outlet Right Ventricle,” by Dario Collia, Emanuela Angeli, Lucio Careddu, and Gianni Pedrizzetti, Physics of Fluids (2023). The article can be accessed at