Regional High Wall Shear Stress Associated With Stenosis Regression in Symptomatic Intracranial Atherosclerotic Disease

Linfang Lan, Haipeng Liu, Vincent Ip, Yannie Soo, Jill Abrigo, Florence Fan, Sze Ho Ma, Karen Ma, Bonaventure Ip, Jia Liu, Yuhua Fan, Jinsheng Zeng, Vincent Mok, Lawrence Wong, David Liebeskind, Thomas Leung, Xinyi Leng

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    26 Citations (Scopus)


    Background and Purpose: Understanding the mechanisms underlying progression/regression of symptomatic intracranial atherosclerotic stenosis (sICAS) will inform secondary prevention of the patients. Focal wall shear stress (WSS) may play an important role, which, however, had seldom been investigated. Methods: Patients with acute ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) attributed to 50% to 99% intracranial atherosclerotic stenosis were recruited. All patients underwent cerebral computed tomography angiography at baseline, and a computational fluid dynamics model was built based on computed tomography angiography to simulate blood flow and quantify WSS in the vicinity of the sICAS lesion. All patients received optimal medical treatment and a second computed tomography angiography at 1 year. The change in the luminal stenosis from baseline to 1 year in sICAS was defined as progression (increased >10%), quiescence (±10%), or regression (decreased >10%). Associations between baseline WSS metrics and sICAS regression were analyzed. Results: Among 39 patients (median age 62 years; 27 males), sICAS luminal stenosis progressed, remained quiescent and regressed in 6 (15.4%), 15 (38.5%), and 18 (46.2%) cases, respectively. A higher maximum WSS and larger high-WSS area, throughout the sICAS lesion or obtained separately in the proximal and distal parts of the lesion, were independently associated with regression of luminal stenosis in sICAS over 1 year. Conclusions: A majority of sICAS lesions regress or stay quiescent in the luminal stenosis over 1 year after stroke under optimal medical treatment, when higher focal WSS may facilitate stenosis regression. Further studies of the effects of hemodynamics including WSS in altering plaque vulnerability and stroke risks are needed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3064-3073
    Number of pages10
    Issue number10
    Early online date4 Sept 2020
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020


    • fluid dynamics
    • hemodynamics
    • ischemic attack, transient
    • progession
    • stroke

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Clinical Neurology
    • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
    • Advanced and Specialised Nursing


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