Prediction of mechanical properties of human atherosclerotic tissue by high-frequency intravascular ultrasound imaging. An in vitro study.
Intravascular ultrasound may be useful for studying the natural history of atherosclerotic lesions of different morphologies and for guiding interventional strategies. This study was designed to test the hypothesis that tissue appearance by intravascular ultrasound is related to the biomechanical properties of atheroma components. Forty-three atheroma caps were obtained from the abdominal aortas of 22 patients at autopsy and studied with an ultrasensitive, servo-controlled spectrometer. By measuring the static strain caused by increasing levels of compressive stress from 30 to 90 mm Hg, the uniaxial unconfined compression stiffness (ratio of stress to strain) was determined. After mechanical testing, specimens were imaged with a 6F, 20-MHz intravascular ultrasound transducer, and images were interpreted by an investigator who was unaware of the mechanical measurements. Specimens were classified as nonfibrous (n = 14), fibrous (n = 18), or calcified (n = 11) based on intravascular ultrasound appearance. The static stiffnesses of the nonfibrous, fibrous, and calcified ultrasound classes were 41.2 +/- 18.8 kPa, 81.7 +/- 33.2 kPa, and 354.5 +/- 245.4 kPa, respectively (p = 0.0002 by analysis of variance). The times to reach static equilibrium (creep time) for the nonfibrous, fibrous, and calcified classes were 79.6 +/- 26.5 minutes, 50.2 +/- 20.0 minutes, and 19.4 +/- 8.1 minutes, respectively (p = 0.0007). Intravascular ultrasound appearance was most significantly related to biomechanical behavior when calcium deposits were noted; the differences in biomechanical behavior between nonfibrous and fibrous tissue appearances were less apparent.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association