3D Computational Mechanical Analysis for Human Atherosclerotic Plaques Using MRI-Based Models with Fluid-Structure Interactions
Atherosclerotic plaques may rupture without warning and cause acute cardiovascular syndromes such as heart attack and stroke. It is believed that mechanical forces play an important role in plaque progression and rupture. A three-dimensional (3D) MRI-based finite-element model with multi-component plaque structure and fluid-structure interactions (FSI) is introduced to perform mechanical analysis for human atherosclerotic plaques and identify critical flow and stress/strain conditions which may be related to plaque rupture. The coupled fluid and structure models are solved by ADINA, a well-tested finite-element package. Our results indicate that pressure conditions, plaque structure, component size and location, material properties, and model assumptions all have considerable effects on flow and plaque stress/strain behaviors. Large-scale patient studies are needed to validate the computational findings. This FSI model provides more complete stress/strain analysis and better interpretation of information from MR images and may lead to more accurate plaque vulnerability assessment and rupture predictions.
KeywordsPulsate Pressure Atherosclerotic Plaque Plaque Rupture Plaque Morphology Plaque Component
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