Shear stress, vascular remodeling and neointimal formation
The role of shear stress in atherosclerosis has been well documented. However, its role in restenosis was underexposed. In this paper a novel in vivo measuring technique and several of its applications related to restenosis will be described. The technique consists of a combination of 3D reconstruction of blood vessels and computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The 3D imaging techniques use either of 3D intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) as a stand-alone technique or a fusion of biplane angiography and IVUS (ANGUS). CFD is applied in order to relate local shear stress distribution to the morphology of the vessel wall. In the applications of these techniques it will be demonstrated that shear stress plays a role in the prediction of neointimal formation in in-stent restenosis and in vascular remodeling after balloon angioplasty. Attempts to locally increase shear stress by a newly developed flow divider indicate that shear stress reduce in-stent neointimal formation by 50%.