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Technical Briefs

Numerical Modeling of Stress in Stenotic Arteries With Microcalcifications: A Parameter Sensitivity Study

[+] Author and Article Information
Jonathan F. Wenk1

Department of Bioengineering, and Department of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94121; San Francisco VA Medical Center, San Francisco, CA 94121jwenk1@me.berkeley.edu

1

Corresponding author.

J Biomech Eng 133(1), 014503 (Dec 23, 2010) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4003128 History: Received May 23, 2010; Revised November 15, 2010; Posted November 29, 2010; Published December 23, 2010; Online December 23, 2010

As a follow-up to the work presented in Wenk (2010, “Numerical Modeling of Stress in Stenotic Arteries With Microcalcifications: A Micromechanical Approximation,” ASME J. Biomech. Eng., 132, p. 091011), a formal sensitivity study was conducted in which several model parameters were varied. The previous work only simulated a few combinations of the parameters. In the present study, the fibrous cap thickness, longitudinal position of the region of microcalcifications, and volume fraction of microcalcifications were varied over a broader range of values. The goal of the present work is to investigate the effects of localized regions of microcalcifications on the stress field of atherosclerotic plaque caps in a section of carotid artery. More specifically, the variations in the magnitude and location of the maximum circumferential stress were assessed for a range of parameters using a global sensitivity analysis method known as Sobol' indices. The stress was calculated by performing finite element simulations of three-dimensional fluid-structure interaction models, while the sensitivity indices were computed using a Monte Carlo scheme. The results indicate that cap thickness plays a significant role in the variation in the magnitude of the maximum circumferential stress, with the sensitivity to volume fraction increasing when the region of microcalcification is located at the shoulder. However, the volume fraction played a larger role in the variation in the location of the maximum circumferential stress. This matches the finding of the previous study (Wenk, 2010, “Numerical Modeling of Stress in Stenotic Arteries With Microcalcifications: A Micromechanical Approximation,” ASME J. Biomech. Eng., 132, p. 091011), which indicates that the maximum circumferential stress always shifts to the region of microcalcification.

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 1

Hypersurface for fixed shoulder microcalcification position Z=26 mm, displaying the maximum circumferential stress with varying volume fraction and cap thickness

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 2

Hypersurface for fixed central microcalcification position Z=26 mm, displaying the maximum circumferential stress with varying volume fraction and cap thickness

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 3

Position of the maximum circumferential stress, at the center of the cap, projected onto the X-Z plane. Note that the symmetry plane is located at X=0.

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 4

Close-up of the model geometry with the lipid pool and region of microcalcification. The position of the maximum circumferential stress, at the shoulder of the cap, is projected onto the X-Z plane.

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