Yuan Huang1, Zhongzhao Teng1, 2, Umar Sadat, 13, Victoria E. Young1, Martin J. Graves1, Jonathan H. Gillard1
1Department of Radiology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom; 2Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom; 3Cambridge Vascular Unit, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, United Kingdom
The traditional hypothesis that plaque rupture occurs when the external loading exceeds the fibrous cap strength has shown its limitations. In this study an alternative mechanism of rupture, material fatigue, was investigated based on in-vivo MR images. Slices with rupture and ulceration obtained from fourteen patients with carotid atherosclerotic disease were used for the simulation. Crack growth was quantified using modified Paris Law. The predicted crack initiations all matched with the in-vivo observation, and 12 /14 models showed the crack in accordance with in-vivo images. Further results showed the fatigue life decreased rapidly with smaller fibrous cap thickness.