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Heart Vessels. 2009 Sep;24(5):357-65. doi: 10.1007/s00380-008-1112-3. Epub 2009 Sep 27.

Wave intensity wall analysis: a novel noninvasive method to measure wave intensity.

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  • 1School of Technology and Health, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Huddinge, Sweden.


Wave intensity analysis is a concept providing information about the interaction of the heart and the vascular system. Originally, the technique was invasive. Since then new noninvasive methods have been developed. A recently developed ultrasound technique to estimate tissue motion and deformation is speckle-tracking echocardiography. Speckle tracking-based techniques allow for accurate measurement of movement and deformation variables in the arterial wall in both the radial and the longitudinal direction. The aim of this study was to test if speckle tracking-derived deformation data could be used as input for wave intensity calculations. The new concept was to approximate changes of flow and pressure by deformation changes of the arterial wall in longitudinal and radial directions. Flow changes (dU/dt) were approximated by strain rate (sr, 1/s) of the arterial wall in the longitudinal direction, whereas pressure changes (dP/dt) were approximated by sign reversed strain rate (1/s) in the arterial wall in the radial direction. To validate the new concept, a comparison between the newly developed Wave Intensity Wall Analysis (WIWA) algorithm and a commonly used and validated wave intensity system (SSD-5500, Aloka, Tokyo, Japan) was performed. The studied population consisted of ten healthy individuals (three women, seven men) and ten patients (all men) with coronary artery disease. The present validation study indicates that the mechanical properties of the arterial wall, as measured by a speckle tracking-based technique are a possible input for wave intensity calculations. The study demonstrates good visual agreement between the two systems and the time interval between the two positive peaks (W1-W2) measured by the Aloka system and the WIWA system correlated for the total group (r = 0.595, P < 0.001). The correlation for the diseased subgroup was r = 0.797, P < 0.001 and for the healthy subgroup no significant correlation was found (P > 0.05). The results of the study indicate that the mechanical properties of the arterial wall could be used as input for wave intensity calculations. The WIWA concept is a promising new method that potentially provides several advantages over earlier wave intensity methods, but it still has limitations and needs further refinement and larger studies to find the optimal clinical use.

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