VIRTUheart logo

Cardiovascular physiology. Simpler.

VIRTUheart is a software package that models cardiovascular physiology from medical imaging. It is an academic development project led by the Mathematical Modelling in Medicine Research Group, based at the University of Sheffield, UK. The VIRTUheart team include interventional cardiologists, engineers, mathematicians and software developers. 

Originally conceived in 2012, it has been developed over the last ten years and now has extended applications and uses. The aim of VIRTUheart is to generate clinically useful data to help support clinical decisions when treating patients in the cardiac catheter laboratory.

VIRTUheart display - Data features labelled


virtual FFR (aka vFFR) computes fractional flow reserve (FFR), without a pressure wire, using computational fluid dynamics (CFD), based on a 3D reconstruction of the arterial anatomy. VIRTUheart was the original vFFR model derived from invasive angiography, first published in 2013. Back then it took >24 hours to compute, but now takes just seconds. It is also capable of virtual stenting [ref] and virtual pressure pull-back.


virtuQ computes absolute coronary blood flow (in mL/min), absolute microvascular resistance, coronary flow reserve and stenosis resistance. It also calculates the reduction in flow due to coronary artery disease. virtuQ computes these parameters from data generated during a standard angiogram and pressure wire study. No additional hardware or drug infusion is required. Latest publication.

Back to top


View the full list of VIRTUheart publications

Back to top

For patients and public

VIRTUheart is a medical research and development project run by a team of specialist heart doctors, engineers and software developers in Sheffield, UK. The project has been running for over a decade. Our aim is to construct computer-based models, based on patient tests, to simulate important changes in blood pressure and flow, inside the heart and the coronary arteries, that can be used to make better decisions about how to treat people with heart disease.

We are grateful to the Cardiovascular Patient Panel at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust who have, provided input, guidance and advice regarding our research and development.

Back to top

Images from VIRTUheart work

Back to top


Click name for University page

Professor Julian Gunn is Professor of Interventional cardiology and leads the MMM Research Group.
Dr Paul Morris is a Senior Clinical Lecturer,  Wellcome Trust Fellow and interventional cardiologist.
Professor Rod Hose is Professor of Computational Biomechanics. 
Professor Ian Halliday is Professor of Computational Modelling in Cardiovascular Disease.
Dr Gosling is NIHR clinical lecturer in cardiology. 
Alberto Biancardi is an image computing staff scientist. 
Nada Ghorab is an EPSRC PhD student working integrating OCT with VIRTUheart 
Dr Andrew Narracott is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sheffield
Professor Pat Lawford is Professor of Physiological Modelling. 
Dr Daniel Taylor is an academic, specialised foundation doctor 
John Fenner is a Medical Physicist and Senior Lecturer at the University of Sheffield
Krzysztof Czechowicz is a software application developer
Dr Tom Newman is an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow. 
Back to top


We are grateful to those who have supported aspects of the project and our team over the years.

British Heart Foundation logo
Wellcome Trust logo
NIHR logo
UKRI Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
UKRI Medical Research Council

Collaborators and affiliations

We have enjoyed working alongside some wonderful people and institutions.

Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Eindhoven University of Technology
Insigneo institute logo
Sheffield Teaching hospitals NHS Trust logo
Sheffield Biomedical Research Centre logo
Back to top