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Supplementary Material for: Plaque Longitudinal Heterogeneity in Morphology, Property, and Mechanobiology

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posted on 05.05.2021, 08:26 by Paritala P.K., Yarlagadda T., Mendieta J.B., Wang J., McGahan T., Lloyd T., Yarlagadda P.K.D.V., Li Z.
Background and Purpose: The hemodynamic environment of an atherosclerotic plaque varies along the longitudinal direction. Investigating the changes in plaque morphology and its biomechanical environment along the longitudinal direction and their correlations will enhance our understanding of plaque progression and arterial remodeling. Methods: Six male patients with carotid stenosis >70% were recruited. Multisequence high-resolution MRI was performed at the carotid bifurcation. Carotid endarterectomy was performed following MRI, and the plaque tissue was collected for histological and mechanical testing. Patient-specific biomechanical modeling and simulations were conducted to calculate the mechanical stresses (wall shear stress [WSS] and von Mises stress [VMS]). Changes in plaque cross-sectional morphology, WSS, and VMS as well as their correlations were evaluated. Results: Positive correlations were found between % stenosis and % inflammation (MA) (p = 0.019), % lipid area and % MA (p = 0.026), and % calcification area and VMS (p = 0.007). Negative correlations were found between VMS and % stenosis (p = 0.028) and VMS and average WSS (p = 0.034). Moreover, the peak stresses and neovessels were found to be in the shoulder regions. High-stress concentrations were found in the interface regions of the calcification and surrounding tissue, thereby increasing plaque vulnerability. Conclusions: Correlations between the morphology and stresses suggest that arterial remodeling is a dynamic interaction between mechanical environment and plaque progression resulting in plaque heterogeneity. Our finding indicates that plaque heterogeneity is associated with plaque progression and can be combined with mechanical stresses for identifying high-risk plaques.

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