A Fluid-Structure Interaction Study on Vulnerability of Different Coronary Plaques to Blood Flow Increase During Physical Exercise

Document Type : Research Article


Mechanical Engineering Department, Babol Noshirvani University of Technology, Babol, Iran


Pathological studies have shown that coronary atherosclerotic plaques are more prone to rupture under physical exercise. In this paper, using a fully coupled fluid-structure interaction (FSI) analysis based on arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian (ALE) finite element method, the effect of the coronary blood flow rate increase during physical exercise on the plaque rupture risk is investigated for different plaque types. It is proved that the increase in coronary blood flow rate during physical exercise considerably increases the maximum stress in the plaque fibrous cap which can potentially lead to the plaque rupture. The issue is investigated for different plaque shapes and their vulnerability to exercise condition is compared. It is observed that the diffused plaque type which experiences the maximum stress of 187.9 kPa at rest and 544 kPa at exercise is the most critical plaque type. Because it is subjected to the highest stress in both of these conditions. However, the descending plaque type exhibits the highest susceptibility to physical activity, since its maximum stress increases from 68.9 kPa at rest to 280.5 kPa at exercise which means an increase of about 308%.


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