Effect of Calcification Properties on Stress in Models of Atherosclerotic Plaque

C. Buffinton, P. Rogerson, and D. Ebenstein
Bucknell University
Lewisburg, PA

The effects of calcifications on arterial wall stress have been largely ignored, in part because the material properties of the calcified areas were taken to be the same as the fibrous plaque, and in part because they are often assumed to have a stabilizing influence. Recent measurements suggest that their stiffness should be more similar to bone.

A computational model is indicated for this problem, as it is difficult to obtain sufficient quantity of human or animal atherosclerotic tissue with a range of calcification patterns. This work examined the sensitivity of wall stress in atherosclerotic models to the geometry and elastic modulus of calcified inclusions.