Estimating Cyclic Shear Strain in the Common Carotid Artery Using Radiofrequency Ultrasound

T. Idzenga, S. Holewijn, H. Hansen and C. de Korte

Medical UltraSound Imaging Center, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Electronic address:
Oct, 2012



There is increasing evidence that supports the hypothesis that elevated cyclic shear strain in the adventitia of the common carotid artery promotes plaque progression. In this article, we estimated cyclic shear strain in the carotid arterial wall in 16 asymptomatic human participants using radio-frequency (RF) ultrasound. In each participant, we acquired two separate RF ultrasound recordings. We correlated the cyclic shear strain with the distension waveform (representing the blood pressure waveform) of the carotid artery and the brachial blood pressure. There were no significant differences between the shear strains estimated from the two separate RF ultrasound recordings. The point-in-time of the maximum shear strain showed a significant correlation with that of the dicrotic notch in the distension waveform (Spearman's coefficient = 0.7, p < 0.001). The pulse shear strain (difference between maximum and minimum shear strain) was significantly correlated with the pulse pressure as measured in the brachial artery (Spearman's coefficient = 0.4, p < 0.01). In this study, we show that the cyclic shear strain in the adventitia of the common carotid artery can be estimated using RF ultrasound. We found indications that the estimated cyclic shear strain was induced by the pulsating blood pressure and it was found to be higher in participants with an elevated pulse pressure.