Gador Canton1, Huijun Chen1, Minako Oikawa2, Hunter R. Underhill1, Wei Yu3, Thomas S. Hatsukami4, Chun Yuan1, William Sean Kerwin1
1Radiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, United States; 2Cardiovascular Medicine, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan; 3Radiology, Beijing Anzhen Hospital, Beijing, China; 4Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, United States
The aim of this study was to explore the hypothesis that intra-plaque hemorrhage, a feature associated with adverse outcomes and atherosclerotic plaque progression, is more likely to occur in plaques with elevated levels of wall shear stress (WSS). We used multi-sequence MRI to characterize seven human carotid atherosclerotic plaques and an MRI-based computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model to solve the equations governing the blood flow. The results from this pilot study indicate a possible link between the presence of hemorrhage within a lipid-rich necrotic core in human carotid atherosclerotic plaques and the shear stress force acting on the luminal surface.