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Ultrasound Med Biol. 1997;23(7):1017-23.

Automated detection of local artery wall thickness based on M-line signal processing.

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Department of Biophysics and Physiology, Maastricht University, The Netherlands.


The Young's modulus of an arterial segment, a measure of the elastic properties of the arterial wall, requires the simultaneous and local assessment of pulse pressure, wall thickness, diameter, and distensibility (relative increase in cross-sectional area per change in blood pressure). The diameter and relative increase in cross-sectional area can be obtained with a wall track system, processing the radiofrequency (r.f.) ultrasound signals received along a single line of observation (M-line processing). It will be demonstrated that it is feasible to combine, in a single measurement, the assessment of wall thickness and the (relative change in) diameter involving a minimum of user interaction. Phantom tests show a standard error of the estimate for intima-media thickness measurements of less than 20 microns; in vivo registrations exhibit a variation on the order of 45 microns. It is concluded that processing of the radiofrequency ultrasound signal, acquired along an M-line, provides an accurate and time-efficient alternative for videoprocessing of 2-dimensional B-mode ultrasound images to estimate artery wall thickness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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