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J Ultrasound Med. 2018 Dec;37(12):2759-2767. doi: 10.1002/jum.14630. Epub 2018 Apr 19.

Carotid Artery Stiffness Assessment by Ultrafast Ultrasound Imaging: Feasibility and Potential Influencing Factors.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Ultrasonics, Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Ultrasound, Guangzhou, China.
2
Department of Vascular and Thyroid Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate the feasibility of the ultrafast ultrasound pulsed wave velocity (PWV) for carotid stiffness assessment and potential influencing factors.

METHODS:

Ultrafast PWV measurements of 442 carotid arteries in 162 consecutive patients (patient group) and 66 healthy volunteers (control group) were performed. High- and very high-frequency transducers were used in 110 carotid segments. The ultrafast PWVs at the beginning and end of systole were automatically measured. The correlations between the intima-media thickness (IMT) and ultrafast PWV and the equipment and carotid factors influencing the utility of ultrafast PWV were analyzed.

RESULTS:

Each ultrafast PWV acquisition was completed within 1 minute. The intraobserver variability showed mean differences ± SD of 0.12 ± 1.28 m/s for the PWV before systole and 0.06 ± 1.30 m/s for the PWV at the end of systole. Ultrafast PWV measurements were more likely obtained with the very high- frequency transducer when the IMT was less than 1.5 mm (P < .05). A generalized linear mixed-effects model analysis showed that the very high-frequency transducer had a greater ability to obtain a valid carotid ultrafast PWV measurement with an IMT of less than 1.5 mm (P < .05). The IMT was positively correlated with the PWV before systole and at the end of systole (r = 0.207-0.771; all P < .05) in the control group, patient group, and carotid subgroup with an IMT of less than 1.5 mm. A multiple regression analysis showed that the IMT and plaque were important independent factors in predicting failure of the ultrafast PWV (P < .001).

CONCLUSIONS:

The ultrafast PWV is an effective and user-friendly method for evaluating carotid stiffness. The IMT and transducer type are factors influencing the ability to obtain an ultrafast PWV measurement.

KEYWORDS:

carotid artery elasticity; pulsed wave velocity; ultrafast ultrasound imaging; ultrasound techniques/physics; vascular (diagnostic)

PMID:
29672890
DOI:
10.1002/jum.14630
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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