Gador Canton1, Daniel Scott Hippe1, Jie Sun1, Dongxiang Xu1, Hunter R. Underhill1, William Sean Kerwin1, Dalin Tang2, Chun Yuan1
1Radiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, United States; 2Mathematical Sciences Department, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA, United States
Biomechanical modeling of atherosclerotic plaques depends on accurate estimation of local mechanical properties along the diseased vessel wall. We sought to characterize wall distensibility along atherosclerotic carotid bifurcations and the effect of plaque burden and composition on this mechanical property. CINE MRI was used to measure wall distensibility and multi-contrast MRI was used to characterize vessel wall morphology and composition. Distensibility was found to be similar along diseased bifurcations. Plaque burden and composition were not found to contribute to wall distensibility. Thus, vascular stiffening in the carotid arteries of the analyzed cohort appears to be systemic and less influenced by local plaque features.