The sudden rupture of a vulnerable arterial plaque is a major cause of cerebral ischemic attack. Triggering of sudden rupture is a result of unfavourable plaque morphology, and is also a result of local stress concentration acting on the plaque. Computational stress analysis on a realistic plaque model is an important tool to assess the vulnerability of plaque rupture. However, the accuracy of the stress analysis is heavily dependent on the accuracy of the 3D reconstruction of the plaque geometry. The derivation of accurate vessel geometries from medical imaging has proved to be difficult due to limited image spatial resolution (at about 0.3mm in-plane) and the lack of contrast between the plaque components.

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