Numerical modelling of coronary atherosclerotic plaques

Researchers: Martin Bennett, Adam Brown (University of Monash), Charis Costopoulos, Jonathan Gillard, Yuan Huang, Habib Samady (University of Emory), Lucas Timmins (University of Utah), Adam Woolf

The focal distribution of atherosclerotic plaques suggests that local biomechanical factors, including wall shear stress (WSS) and plaque structural stress (PSS), could influence plaque development and failure. Stress values can be obtained from numerical simulations based on in-vivo imaging modalities such as CT angiography, virtual-histology intravascular ultrasound (VH-IVUS) and optical coherence tomography (OCT). This project aims to explore the potential role of such computational modelling in the clinical management, with the following considerations:

  1. by comparing VH-IVUS images in vessels with/without spontaneous rupture, test the key hypothesis that plaque ruptures are triggered by structural failure due to high PSS;
  2. quantify plaque size and compositional changes during a 6~12 month VH-IVUS follow up, and investigate if such changes are associated with baseline parameters such as patient demographics, plaque morphology, WSS and PSS;
  3. automate and optimise the computational framework to allow risk assessment that is close to real-time
  4. combine the composition information from VH-IVUS and cap thickness from OCT to provide more accurate and patient-specific predictions

Who's involved