Arterial stiffness probed by dynamic ultrasound elastography characterizes waveform of blood pressure


Guo-Yang Li, Yuxuan Jiang, Yang Zheng, Weiqiang Xu, Zhaoyi Zhang, and Yanping Cao. 2022. “Arterial stiffness probed by dynamic ultrasound elastography characterizes waveform of blood pressure.” IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging.


The clinical and economic burdens of cardiovascular diseases pose a global challenge. Growing evidence suggests an early assessment of arterial stiffness can provide insights into the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases. However, it remains difficult to quantitatively characterize local arterial stiffness in vivo. Here we utilize guided axial waves continuously excited and detected by ultrasound to probe local blood pressures and mechanical properties of common carotid arteries simultaneously. In a pilot study of 17 healthy volunteers, we observe a ~20% variation in the group velocities of the guided axial waves (5.16±0.55 m/s in systole and 4.31±0.49 m/s in diastole) induced by the variation of the blood pressures. A linear relationship between the square of group velocity and blood pressure is revealed by the experiments and finite element analysis, which enables us to measure the waveform of the blood pressures by the group velocities. Furthermore, we propose a wavelet analysis-based method to extract the dispersion relations of the guided axial waves. We then determined the shear modulus by fitting the dispersion relations in diastole with the leaky Lamb wave model. The average shear modulus of all the volunteers is 166.3±32.8 kPa. No gender differences are found. This study shows the group velocity and dispersion relation of the guided axial waves can be utilized to probe blood pressure and arterial stiffness locally in a noninvasive manner and thus promising for early diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases.
Last updated on 02/14/2022