The development of a combined b-mode, ARFI, and spectral Doppler ultrasound imaging system for investigating cardiovascular stiffness and hemodynamics
The progression of atherosclerotic disease, caused by the formation of plaques within arteries, is a complex process believed to be a function of the localized mechanical properties and hemodynamic loading associated with the arterial wall. It is hypothesized that measurements of vascular stiffness and wall-shear rate (WSR) may provide important information regarding vascular remodeling, endothelial function, and the growth of soft-lipid filled plaques that could help a clinician better diagnose a patient's risk of clinical events such as stroke. To that end, the approach taken in this work was to combine conventional B-mode, Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse (ARFI), Shear Wave Elasticity Imaging (SWEI), and spectral Doppler techniques into a single imaging system capable of simultaneously measuring the tissue displacements and WSR throughout the cardiac cycle and over several heartbeats. Implemented on a conventional scanner, the carotid arteries of human subjects were scanned to demonstrate the initial in vivo feasibility of the method. Two non-invasive ultrasound based imaging methods, SAD-SWEI and SAD-Gated Imaging, were developed that measure ARF-induced on-axis tissue displacements, off-axis transverse wave velocities, and WSR throughout the cardiac cycle. Human carotid artery scans were performed in vivo on 5 healthy subjects. Statistical differences were observed in both on-axis proximal wall displacements and transverse wave velocities during diastole compared to systole. © 2011 Copyright Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).
Doherty, JR; Dumont, DM; Trahey, GE
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