Morphological and Stress Vulnerability Indices for Human Coronary Plaques and Their Correlations with Cap Thickness and Lipid Percent: An IVUS-Based Fluid-Structure Interaction Multi-patient Study

Liang Wang, Jie Zheng, Akiko Maehara, Chun Yang, Kristen L. Billiar, Zheyang Wu, Richard Bach, David Muccigrosso, Gary S. Mintz, Dalin Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Plaque vulnerability, defined as the likelihood that a plaque would rupture, is difficult to quantify due to lack of in vivo plaque rupture data. Morphological and stress-based plaque vulnerability indices were introduced as alternatives to obtain quantitative vulnerability assessment. Correlations between these indices and key plaque features were investigated. In vivo intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) data were acquired from 14 patients and IVUS-based 3D fluid-structure interaction (FSI) coronary plaque models with cyclic bending were constructed to obtain plaque wall stress/strain and flow shear stress for analysis. For the 617 slices from the 14 patients, lipid percentage, min cap thickness, critical plaque wall stress (CPWS), strain (CPWSn) and flow shear stress (CFSS) were recorded, and cap index, lipid index and morphological index were assigned to each slice using methods consistent with American Heart Association (AHA) plaque classification schemes. A stress index was introduced based on CPWS. Linear Mixed-Effects (LME) models were used to analyze the correlations between the mechanical and morphological indices and key morphological factors associated with plaque rupture. Our results indicated that for all 617 slices, CPWS correlated with min cap thickness, cap index, morphological index with r = -0.6414, 0.7852, and 0.7411 respectively (p<0.0001). The correlation between CPWS and lipid percentage, lipid index were weaker (r = 0.2445, r = 0.2338, p<0.0001). Stress index correlated with cap index, lipid index, morphological index positively with r = 0.8185, 0.3067, and 0.7715, respectively, all with p<0.0001. For all 617 slices, the stress index has 66.77% agreement with morphological index. Morphological and stress indices may serve as quantitative plaque vulnerability assessment supported by their strong correlations with morphological features associated with plaque rupture. Differences between the two indices may lead to better plaque assessment schemes when both indices were jointly used with further validations from clinical studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1004652
JournalPLoS computational biology
Volume11
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

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