Plaque geometry: determinant for fibrous cap stress levels
© Thrysøe et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2011
Published: 2 February 2011
In clinical practice, the risk of cerebrovascular events originating from carotid atherosclerotic plaques is correlated to the degree of luminal narrowing, commonly designated the degree of stenosis. Though the degree of stenosis is a proven marker of plaque vulnerability, it is widely recognized that better risk markers for cerebrovascular events are needed. Known morphological features of plaque vulnerability are large lipid-rich necrotic cores (LR-NC) with thin fibrous caps that generate localized elevated mechanical stresses within the fibrous cap separating arterial lumen from LR-NC. Thus, determination of local biomechanics using computational simulations may have clinical implications.
Biomechanical stress levels could be indicative of plaque rupture risk. Thus, we wished to determine whether different plaque morphologies in a longitudinal section affects the level of local mechanical forces.
Identical plaque morphologies may yield significantly different mechanical stress levels depending on vessel geometry. Further studies are needed to determine if the varying stress levels are indicative of differing risks of plaque rupture.
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