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Ultrasound Med Biol. 2014 Jan;40(1):200-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2013.09.014. Epub 2013 Nov 7.

Shear wave elastography assessment of carotid plaque stiffness: in vitro reproducibility study.

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1
Department of Medical Physics, University of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicester, United Kingdom. Electronic address: kumar.ramnarine@uhl-tr.nhs.uk.

Abstract

This study assessed inter- and intra-observer reproducibility of shear wave elastography (SWE) measurements in vessel phantoms simulating soft and hard carotid plaque under steady and pulsatile flow conditions. Supersonic SWE was used to acquire cine-loop data and quantify Young's modulus in cryogel vessel phantoms. Data were acquired by two observers, each performing three repeat measurements. Mean Young's modulus was quantified within 2-mm regions of interest averaged across five frames and, depending on vessel model and observer, ranged from 28 to 240 kPa. The mean inter-frame coefficient of variation (CV) was 0.13 (range: 0.07-0.18) for observer 1 and 0.14 (range: 0.12-0.16) for observer 2, with mean intra-class correlation coefficients (ICCs) of 0.84 and 0.83, respectively. The mean inter-operator CV was 0.13 (range: 0.08-0.20), with a mean ICC of 0.76 (range: 0.69-0.82). Our findings indicate that SWE can quantify Young's modulus of carotid plaque phantoms with good reproducibility, even in the presence of pulsatile flow.

KEYWORDS:

Carotid plaque; Reproducibility; Shear wave elastography; Young’s modulus

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