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In this paper, a modeling approach combining in vivo intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) imaging, computational modeling, angiography, and mechanical testing is proposed to perform mechanical analysis for human coronary atherosclerotic plaques for potential more accurate plaque vulnerability assessment. A 44-slice in vivo IVUS dataset of a coronary plaque was acquired from one patient, and four 3-D models with fluid-structure interactions (FSIs) based on the data were constructed to quantify effects of anisotropic vessel properties and cyclic bending of the coronary plaque on flow and plaque stress/strain conditions. Compared to the isotropic model (model 1, no bending, no axial stretch), maximum stress-P1 (maximum principal stress) values on the cut surface with maximum bending (where applicable) from model 2 (anisotropic, no bending, no stretch), model 3 (anisotropic, with bending, no stretch), and model 4 (anisotropic with bending and stretch) were, respectively, 63%, 126%, and 345% higher than that from model 1. Effects of cyclic bending on flow behaviors were modest (5%-15%). Our preliminary results indicated that in vivo IVUS-based FSI models with cyclic bending and anisotropic material properties could improve the accuracies of plaque stress/strain predictions and plaque vulnerability assessment. Large-scale patient studies are needed to further validate our findings.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2009