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Study of reproducibility of human arterial plaque reconstruction and its effects on stress analysis based on multispectral in vivo magnetic resonance imaging

Gao, Hao and Long, Quan and Howarth, SPS and Tang, Ty and Li, Zy and Graves, Martin and Gillard, Jonathan (2009) Study of reproducibility of human arterial plaque reconstruction and its effects on stress analysis based on multispectral in vivo magnetic resonance imaging. Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 30 (1). pp. 95-93.

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Abstract

Study aims to quantify the uncertainties of carotid plaque morphology reconstruction based on patient-specific multispectral in vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and their impacts on the plaque stress analysis. In this study, three independent investigators were invited to reconstruct the carotid bifurcation with plaque based on MR images from two subjects to study the geometry reconstruction reproducibility. Finite element stress analyses were performed on the carotid bifurcations, as well as the models with artificially modified plaque geometries to mimic the image segmentation uncertainties, to study the impacts of the uncertainties to the stress prediction. Plaque reconstruction reproducibility was generally high in the study. The uncertainties among interobservers are around one or the subpixel level. It also shows that the predicted stress is relatively less sensitive to the arterial wall segmentation uncertainties, and more affected by the accuracy of lipid region definition. For a model with lipid core region artificially increased by adding one pixel on the lipid region boundary, it will significantly increase the maximum Von Mises Stress in fibrous cap (100%) compared with the baseline model for all subjects. The current in vivo MRI in the carotid plaque could provide useful and reliable information for plaque morphology. The accuracy of stress analysis based on plaque geometry is subject to MRI quality. The improved resolution/ quality in plaque imaging with newly developed MRI protocols would generate more realistic stress predictions.tudy aims t