Noninvasive vascular ultrasound elastography

H.H.G. Hansen

Promotor: M. Prokop
Copromotor: C.L. de Korte
Radboud University Nijmegen
November 16, 2012

Abstract

The majority of people in Western society develop atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a systemic disease which usually slowly progresses with age and mainly affects the conducting arteries. Atherosclerosis starts with the formation of lipid-rich accumulations in the vessel wall, named fatty streaks. These fatty streaks can grow and mature into plaques. The majority of these plaques will be stable over years, some can become unstable. These unstable vulnerable plaques can easily rupture which might lead to the generation of a thrombus. In this thesis, a multi-angle ultrasound elastography technique was developed for estimation of radial strains in transverse vascular cross sections. Initial results in carotid arteries of a small patient group revealed a positive correlation between the estimated strains and features of plaque vulnerability. Therefore, the developed vascular elastography technique has great potential to become the first noninvasive patient friendly technique able to detect vulnerable plaques in vivo.

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