An ex-vivo setup for characterization of atherosclerotic plaque using shear wave elastography and micro-computed tomography

David Larsson, Joy Roy, T. Christian Gasser, Matthew W. Urban, Massimiliano Colarieti-Tosti, Matilda Larsson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Quantification of the mechanical properties of atherosclerotic plaque has shown to be important in assessing carotid artery plaque vulnerability. For such, shear wave elastography (SWE) has been applied on both in-vitro and in-vivo setups. The aim of this study was to build an ex-vivo setup for combined evaluation of plaque characteristics using SWE and micro-computed tomography (μCT). As a proof-of-concept of the constructed experimental setup, a single human carotid plaque specimen was extracted during carotid endarterectomy. The plaque was imaged in the μCT system, and subsequently imaged using SWE. For the SWE measurement, group and phase velocity was extracted from the obtained in-phase/quadrature data, with its spatial distribution being compared to anatomical features visible in the μCT images. The results indicated wave velocity changes at boundaries identified in the μCT, with group velocity data slightly increasing when entering a calcified nodule. Additionally, μCT images seemed to provide good contrast between several plaque constituens using the defined imaging settings. Overall, the study represents a proof-of-concept for detailed ex-vivo plaque analysis using combined SWE and μCT, with obtained wave speed and shear modulus values falling within observed values for atherosclerotic plaque tissue. With an experimental setup defined, future studies on carotid plaque behaviour both in SWE and μCT is enabled, where a large-scale plaque study could be performed to investigate the ability of SWE to differentiate between different plaque types.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2016 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, IUS 2016
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
ISBN (Electronic)9781467398978
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016
Event2016 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, IUS 2016 - Tours, France
Duration: Sep 18 2016Sep 21 2016

Publication series

NameIEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, IUS
ISSN (Print)1948-5719
ISSN (Electronic)1948-5727


Other2016 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, IUS 2016


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Carotid
  • Plaque
  • Shear Wave Elastography
  • micro-Computed Tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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