Rupture of the cap of an atherosclerotic plaque is instigated when the stresses in the cap due to the blood pressure exceed the local cap strength. Image based computational finite element models of atherosclerotic plaques are widely used to compute stresses in the fibrous cap. These models are often based on pressurized geometries. The shape of the plaque is determined by the blood pressure at the time of imaging, and thus contains initial stresses (IS) and strains, which are generally ignored in plaque stress studies.

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