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Measurement of Circumferential Strain Distribution in Human Coronary Arteries with Atherosclerotic Plaque


Abstract: Rupture of atherosclerotic plaque in coronary artery causes serious results. Since heterogeneously distributed plaque may cause local stress concentration, the local strain in circumferential direction of the coronary artery with atherosclerosis was investigated. For eight specimens from four human atherosclerotic coronary arteries, four needles were stuck into each the specimen at equal intervals on their circumference. Specimens were pressurized and local circumferential length was calculated from movement of the needles observed from longitudinal direction. For each specimen, pressure strain elastic modulus Ep, stiffness parameter β, and incremental elastic modulus Einc were calculated. Local circumferential strain was calculated by referring to circumferential length at no-stress state. Total thickness Ttotal, plaque thickness Tplaque, medial and adventitial wall thickness Twall, and area fraction of plaque Aplaque were also measured in histological sections. Ep and β obtained in the present study were almost comparable to those of nonatherosclerotic human coronary arteries in previous studies. Local strains were different even in a circumference. The local strain at 80 mmHg ε80 correlated significantly with Twall (r = 0.48, p < 0.05), while ε80 had insignificant correlation with Tplaque, Ttotal, and Aplaque. Coefficient of variance of local Twall decreased with the increase in the pressure. These results indicate that mechanical properties of human atherosclerotic coronary arteries are heterogeneously distributed in circumferential direction, plaque has insignificant effect to their mechanical properties, and Twall becomes more uniform at physiological state than at no-stress state. These dada may be useful to simulate stress distribution in atherosclerotic coronary artery.
Keywords: stress / plaque / strain / coronary arteries / heterogeneously distributed / circumferential direction / human atherosclerotic coronary

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