Rupture of atherosclerotic plaque is a major cause of mortality. Plaque stress analysis, based on patient-specific multisequence in vivo MRI, can provide critical information for the understanding of plaque rupture and could eventually lead to plaque rupture prediction. However, the direct link between stress and plaque rupture is not fully understood. In the present study, the plaque from a patient who recently experienced a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) was studied using a fluid–structure interaction method to quantify stress distribution in the plaque region based on in vivo MR images. The results showed that wall shear stress is generally low in the artery with a slight increase at the plaque throat owing to minor luminal narrowing. The oscillatory shear index is much higher in the proximal part of the plaque. Both local wall stress concentrations and the relative stress variation distribution during a cardiac cycle indicate that the actual plaque rupture site is collocated with the highest rupture risk region in the studied patient.
- carotid atheroma
- stress analysis