Cyclic bending contributes to high stress in a human coronary atherosclerotic plaque and rupture risk: In vitro experimental modeling and ex vivo MRI-based computational modeling approach

Chun Yang, Dalin Tang, Shunichi Kobayashi, Jie Zheng, Pamela K. Woodard, Zhongzhao Teng, Richard Bach, David N. Ku

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many acute cardiovascular syndromes such as heart attack and stroke are caused by atherosclerotic plaque ruptures which often happen without warning. MRI-based models with fluid-structure interactions (FSI) have been introduced to perform flow and stress/strain analysis for atherosclerotic plaques and identify possible mechanical and morphological indices for accurate plaque vulnerability assessment. In this paper, cyclic bending was added to 3D FSI coronary plaque models for more accurate mechanical predictions. Curvature variation was prescribed using the data of a human left anterior descending (LAD) coronary artery. Five computational models were constructed based on ex vivo MRI human coronary plaque data to assess the effects of cyclic bending, pulsating pressure, plaque structure, and axial stretch on plaque stress/strain distributions. In vitro experiments using a hydrogel stenosis model with cyclical bending were performed to observe effect of cyclical bending on flow conditions. Our results indicate that cyclical bending may cause more than 100% or even up to more than 1000% increase in maximum principal stress values at locations where the plaque is bent most. Stress increase is higher when bending is coupled with axial stretch, non-smooth plaque structure, or resonant pressure conditions (zero phase angle shift). Effects of cyclic bending on flow behaviors are more modest (21.6% decrease in maximum velocity, 10.8% decrease in flow rate, maximum flow shear stress changes were < 5%). Computational FSI models including cyclic bending, plaque components and structure, axial stretch, accurate in vivo measurements of pressure, curvature, and material properties should lead to significant improvement on stress-based plaque mechanical analysis and more accurate coronary plaque vulnerability assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-274
Number of pages16
JournalMCB Molecular and Cellular Biomechanics
Volume5
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008

Keywords

  • Atherosclerotic plaque rupture
  • Blood flow
  • Cardiovascular
  • Coronary artery
  • Cyclic bending
  • Fluid-structure interaction

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