Cerebrovascular Events (CVE), associated to atherosclerotic disease in the bifurcation of the carotid artery, are one of the principal causes of death in the occidental world. Its study has become a challenge because of the complex factors involved in the mechanics and hemodynamics of the bifurcation. The aim of this study is to quantify mechanic and hemodynamic parameters by means of computational models.
Vascular segmentation and atherosclerotic plaque segmentation is done in 3D computed tomography images. Vessel and plaque boundaries are then detected in the planes locally orthogonal to the centerline of the vessel. Contour points are determined using the local maximum of the gradient in the image along the radial directions from a point belonging to the vessel centerline. From the points obtained in the characterization it is possible to generate Finite Element Analysis that could predict the stress state of the arterial wall, plaque components and fluid. The simulation was performed for a complete cardiac cycle, using physiological values as border condition.
Characterization was done over 80 different slices obtaining good results in the detection of external arterial wall and calcification contours. Reconstruction and simulation of patients geometries predict wall and plaque stress, fluid stress and exposure times in real geometries. They also allow the study of the level of platelet activation (LA) and shear stress threshold.
Specific patient simulation results serves in prostheses design and carotid disease understanding.