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Ultrasound Med Biol. 2010 Oct;36(10):1662-76. doi: 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2010.07.004.

Quantitative assessment of arterial wall biomechanical properties using shear wave imaging.

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SuperSonic Imagine, Aix en Provence, France.


A new ultrasound-based technique is proposed to assess the arterial stiffness: the radiation force of an ultrasonic beam focused on the arterial wall induces a transient shear wave (∼10 ms) whose propagation is tracked by ultrafast imaging. The large and high-frequency content (100 to 1500 Hz) of the induced wave enables studying the wave dispersion, which is shown experimentally in vitro and numerically to be linked to arterial wall stiffness and geometry. The proposed method is applied in vivo. By repeating the acquisition up to 10 times per second (theoretical maximal frame rate is ∼100 Hz), it is possible to assess in vivo the arterial wall elasticity dynamics: shear modulus of a healthy volunteer carotid wall is shown to vary strongly during the cardiac cycle and measured to be 130 ± 15 kPa in systole and 80 ± 10 kPa in diastole.

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