Extending arterial stiffness assessment along the circumference using beam-steered ARFI and wave-tracking: A proof-of-principle study in phantoms and ex vivo

Judith T. Pruijssen*, Stein Fekkes, Jan Menssen, Chris L. de Korte, Hendrik H.G. Hansen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Background: To fully quantify arterial wall and plaque stiffness, acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI)-induced wave-tracking along the entire vessel circumference is desired. However, attenuation and guided wave behavior in thin vessel walls limits wave-tracking to short trajectories. This study investigated the potential of beam-steered ARFI and wave-tracking to extend group velocity estimation over a larger proportion of the circumference compared to conventional 0° ARFI-induced wave-tracking. Methods: Seven vessel-mimicking polyvinyl alcohol cryogel phantoms with various dimensions and compositions and an ex vivo human carotid artery were imaged in a dedicated setup. For every 20⁰ phantom rotation, transverse group wave velocity measurements were performed with an Aixplorer Ultimate system and SL18–5 transducer using 0⁰/20⁰/−20⁰-angled ultrasound pushes. Transmural angular wave velocities were derived along 60⁰-trajectories. A 360⁰-angular velocity map was composed from the top-wall 60⁰-trajectories 0°-data, averaged over all physical phantom rotations (reference). For each phantom rotation, 360⁰-angular velocity maps were composed using 0°-data (0⁰-approach) or data from all angles (beam-steered approach). Percentages of rotations with visible waves and relative angular velocity errors compared to the reference map as function of the circumferential angle were determined for both approaches. Results: Reference 360°-angular velocity maps could be derived for all samples, representing their stiffness. Beam-steering decreased the proportion of the circumference where waves were untraceable by 20% in phantoms and 10% ex vivo, mainly at 0° push locations. Relative errors were similar for both approaches (phantoms: 10–15%, ex vivo: 15–35%). Conclusion: Beam-steering enables wave-tracking along a higher proportion of the wall circumference than 0⁰ ARFI-induced wave-tracking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4288-4300
Number of pages13
JournalComputational and Structural Biotechnology Journal
Volume21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Aug 2023

Keywords

  • Arterial stiffness
  • Beam-steering
  • Circumferential guided wave
  • Plaque characterization
  • Shear wave elastography
  • Ultrasound
  • Vascular imaging

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