Acoustic radiation force impulse imaging for noninvasive characterization of carotid artery atherosclerotic plaques: a feasibility study

Journal Article (Academic article)

Atherosclerotic disease in the carotid artery is a risk factor for stroke. The susceptibility of atherosclerotic plaque to rupture, however, is challenging to determine by any imaging method. In this study, acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) imaging is applied to atherosclerotic disease in the carotid artery to determine the feasibility of using ARFI to noninvasively characterize carotid plaques. ARFI imaging is a useful method for characterizing the local mechanical properties of tissue and is complementary to B-mode imaging. ARFI imaging can readily distinguish between stiff and soft regions of tissue. High-resolution images of both homogeneous and heterogeneous plaques were observed. Homogeneous plaques were indistinguishable in stiffness from vascular tissue. However, they showed thicknesses much greater than normal vascular tissue. In heterogeneous plaques, large and small soft regions were observed, with the smallest observed soft region having a diameter of 0.5 mm. A stiff cap was observed covering the large soft tissue region, with the cap thickness ranging from 0.7-1.3 mm. (E-mail: (C) 2009 World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine \& Biology.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Dahl, JJ; Dumont, DM; Allen, JD; Miller, EM; Trahey, GE

Published Date

  • May 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 35 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 707 - 716

PubMed ID

  • 19243877

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2813205

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0301-5629