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Human coronary plaque wall thickness correlated positively with flow shear stress and negatively with plaque wall stress: an IVUS-based fluid-structure interaction multi-patient study

Fan, Rui; Tang, Dalin; Yang, Chun; Zheng, Jie; Bach, Richard; Wang, Liang; Muccigrosso, David; Billiar, Kristen; Zhu, Jian; Ma, Genshan; Maehara, Akiko; Mintz, Gary

Background: Atherosclerotic plaque progression and rupture are believed to be associated with mechanical stress conditions. In this paper, patient-specific in vivo intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) coronary plaque image data were used to construct computational models with fluid-structure interaction (FSI) and cyclic bending to investigate correlations between plaque wall thickness and both flow shear stress and plaque wall stress conditions. Methods: IVUS data were acquired from 10 patients after voluntary informed consent. The X-ray angiogram was obtained prior to the pullback of the IVUS catheter to determine the location of the coronary artery stenosis, vessel curvature and cardiac motion. Cyclic bending was specified in the model representing the effect by heart contraction. 3D anisotropic FSI models were constructed and solved to obtain flow shear stress (FSS) and plaque wall stress (PWS) values. FSS and PWS values were obtained for statistical analysis. Correlations with p < 0.05 were deemed significant. Results: Nine out of the 10 patients showed positive correlation between wall thickness and flow shear stress. The mean Pearson correlation r-value was 0.278 ± 0.181. Similarly, 9 out of the 10 patients showed negative correlation between wall thickness and plaque wall stress. The mean Pearson correlation r-value was -0.530 ± 0.210. Conclusion: Our results showed that plaque vessel wall thickness correlated positively with FSS and negatively with PWS. The patient-specific IVUS-based modeling approach has the potential to be used to investigate and identify possible mechanisms governing plaque progression and rupture and assist in diagnosis and intervention procedures. This represents a new direction of research. Further investigations using more patient follow-up data are warranted.

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Title
BioMedical Engineering OnLine
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-925X-13-32

More About This Work

Academic Units
Medicine
Published Here
September 23, 2014
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