Influence of wall thickness and diameter on arterial shear wave elastography: A phantom and finite element study

Elira Maksuti, Fabiano Bini, Stefano Fiorentini, Giulia Blasi, Matthew W. Urban, Franco Marinozzi, Matilda Larsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Quantitative, non-invasive and local measurements of arterial mechanical properties could be highly beneficial for early diagnosis of cardiovascular disease and follow up of treatment. Arterial shear wave elastography (SWE) and wave velocity dispersion analysis have previously been applied to measure arterial stiffness. Arterial wall thickness (h) and inner diameter (D) vary with age and pathology and may influence the shear wave propagation. Nevertheless, the effect of arterial geometry in SWE has not yet been systematically investigated. In this study the influence of geometry on the estimated mechanical properties of plates (h = 0.5-3 mm) and hollow cylinders (h = 1, 2 and 3 mm, D = 6 mm) was assessed by experiments in phantoms and by finite element method simulations. In addition, simulations in hollow cylinders with wall thickness difficult to achieve in phantoms were performed (h = 0.5-1.3 mm, D = 5-8 mm). The phase velocity curves obtained from experiments and simulations were compared in the frequency range 200-1000 Hz and showed good agreement (R 2 = 0.80 ± 0.07 for plates and R 2 = 0.82 ± 0.04 for hollow cylinders). Wall thickness had a larger effect than diameter on the dispersion curves, which did not have major effects above 400 Hz. An underestimation of 0.1-0.2 mm in wall thickness introduces an error 4-9 kPa in hollow cylinders with shear modulus of 21-26 kPa. Therefore, wall thickness should correctly be measured in arterial SWE applications for accurate mechanical properties estimation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2694-2718
Number of pages25
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Mar 6 2017


  • arterial geometry
  • arterial stiffness
  • finite element method
  • phantom
  • phase velocity
  • shear wave elastography
  • wall thickness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Influence of wall thickness and diameter on arterial shear wave elastography: A phantom and finite element study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this