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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2013 Nov 5;62(19):1804-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2013.07.013. Epub 2013 Jul 31.

Noninvasive detection of lipids in atherosclerotic plaque using ultrasound thermal strain imaging: in vivo animal study.

Author information

1
Center for Ultrasound Molecular Imaging and Therapeutics, Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Heart and Vascular Institute, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Department of Biomedical Engineering and Systems, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study sought to examine the feasibility of in vivo detection of lipids in atherosclerotic plaque (AP) by ultrasound (US) thermal (or temporal) strain imaging (TSI).

BACKGROUND:

Intraplaque lipid content is thought to contribute to plaque stability. Lipid exhibits a distinctive physical characteristic of temperature-dependent US speed compared with water-bearing tissues. As tissue temperature changes, US radiofrequency (RF) echoes shift in time of flight, which produces an apparent strain (thermal or temporal strain [TS]).

METHODS:

US heating-imaging pulse sequences and transducers were designed and integrated into commercial US scanners for US-TSI of arterial segments. US-RF data were collected while gradually increasing tissue temperature. Phase-sensitive speckle tracking was applied to reconstruct TS maps coregistered to B-scans. Segments from injured atherosclerotic and uninjured nonatherosclerotic common femoral arteries (CFA) in cholesterol-fed New Zealand rabbits, and segments from control normal diet-fed rabbits (N =14) were scanned in vivo at different time points up to 12 weeks.

RESULTS:

Lipid-rich atherosclerotic lesions exhibited distinct positive TS (+0.19 ± 0.08%) compared with that in nonatherosclerotic (-0.10 ± 0.13%) and control (-0.09 ± 0.09%) segments (p < 0.001). US-TSI enabled serial monitoring of lipids during atherosclerosis development. The coregistered set of morphological and compositional information of US-TSI showed good agreement with histology.

CONCLUSIONS:

US-TSI successfully detected and longitudinally monitored lipid progression in atherosclerotic CFA. US-TSI of relatively superficial arteries may be a modality that could be integrated into a commercial US system for noninvasive lipid detection in AP.

KEYWORDS:

AP; CFA; LBT; RF; TS; TSI; US; WBT; atherosclerosis; atherosclerotic plaque; common femoral artery; lipid-bearing tissue; lipids; noninvasive; radiofrequency; thermal (or temporal) strain; thermal (or temporal) strain imaging; ultrasound; ultrasound thermal strain; water-bearing tissue

PMID:
23916926
PMCID:
PMC3815971
DOI:
10.1016/j.jacc.2013.07.013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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