Measurement of the transverse strain tensor in the coronary arterial wall from clinical intravascular ultrasound images.
Atherosclerotic plaque rupture is the major cause of acute coronary syndromes. Currently, there is no reliable diagnostic tool to predict plaque rupture. Knowledge of plaque mechanical properties based on local artery wall strain measurements would be useful for characterizing its composition and predicting its vulnerability. Due to cardiac motion, strain estimation in clinical intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) images is extremely challenging. A method is presented to estimate cross-sectional coronary artery wall strain in response to cardiac pulsatile pressure using clinically acquired IVUS images, which are acquired in continuous pullback mode. First, cardiac phase information is retrieved retrospectively from an IVUS image sequence using an image-based gating method, and image sub-sequences at systole and diastole are extracted. Then, images at branch sites are used as landmarks to align the two image sub-sequences. Finally, the paired images at each site are registered to measure the 2D strain tensor of the coronary artery cross-section. This method has been successfully applied to IVUS images of a left anterior descending (LAD) coronary artery acquired clinically during a standard procedure. Such complete strain information should be useful for identifying vulnerable plaque.
Liang, Y; Zhu, H; Gehrig, T; Friedman, MH
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