Estimation of the transverse strain tensor in the arterial wall using IVUS image registration.
Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) elastography is an imaging technique that obtains the local mechanical properties of the artery wall and atherosclerotic plaques through strain measurements using IVUS. Knowledge of these mechanical properties may provide crucial information that can help in estimating plaque composition and its vulnerability. Here, we present a new method to estimate the transverse strain tensor of the arterial wall based on nonrigid image registration using IVUS images. This method registers a pair of images acquired at a vessel site under different levels of luminal pressure. The 2-D displacement field in the vessel cross-section is estimated from image registration; then the displacement field is used to calculate the 2-D local strain tensor. From the strain tensor, the strain in any direction in the cross-section can be obtained; here, the radial and circumferential strain distributions are presented. This strain estimation method has been validated with synthetic motion IVUS images and evaluated using the IVUS images of a polyvinyl alcohol cryogel phantom. The accuracy of the estimated strain and the ability of the method to overcome IVUS system noise are demonstrated.
Liang, Y; Zhu, H; Friedman, MH
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