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Stroke. 1997 Nov;28(11):2195-200.

A new automated computerized analyzing system simplifies readings and reduces the variability in ultrasound measurement of intima-media thickness.

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  • 1Wallenberg Laboratory for Cardiovascular Research, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Göteborg University, Gothenburg, Sweden.



A computerized analyzing system with manual tracing of echo interfaces for measurement of intima-media thickness and lumen diameter in carotid and femoral arteries was previously developed by our research group and has been used for many years in several laboratories. However, manual measurements are not only time consuming, but the results from these readings are also dependent on training and subjective judgement. A further problem is the observed drift in measurements over time. A new computerized technique for automatic detection of echo interfaces was therefore developed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the new automated computerized analyzing system.


The new system is based on dynamic programming and includes optional interactive modification by the human operator. Local measurements of vessel echo intensity, intensity gradient, and boundary continuity are extracted by image analysis techniques and included as weighed terms in a cost function. The dynamic programming procedure is used for determining the optimal location of the vessel interfaces in a way that the cost function is minimized.


With the new automated computerized analyzing system the measurement results were less dependent on the reader's experience, and the variability between readers was less compared with the old manual analyzing system. The measurements were also less time consuming.


The new automated analyzing system will not only greatly increase the speed of measurements but also reduce the variability between readers. It should also reduce the variability between different laboratories if the same analyzing program is used. Furthermore, the new system will probably prevent the problem with drift in measurements over time.

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