Vulnerable plaque rupture is a major cause of common clinical events such as heart attacks and strokes. Plaques form in the arterial wall due to atherosclerosis, however not all plaques that do develop are at risk from rupture. Risk stratification is a major clinical need. This study combines elastin-specific MR contrast agent and CINE MR data from a rabbit model of atherosclerosis with finite element modeling. This combination allows the biomechanics of the arterial wall to be compared with morphological and biological indicators. Wall strains were shown to vary depending on the wall thickness and elastin content.