Arterial wall stiffness can be associated with various diseases. Arteriosclerosis involves the buildup of plaques within artery walls that stiffen the arteries. The stiffness of an artery can be assessed by measurement of the pulse wave velocity (PWV). Usually, PWV is estimated using the foot-to-foot method. However, the foot of the pressure wave is not very clear due to reflected waves. Also, the blood pressure wave generated by the heart is normally a low frequency wave, hence the time resolution is low. PWV is an average indicator of artery stiffness between the two measuring positions, and therefore cannot easily identify local stiffness. In this paper a force on the arterial wall is generated noninvasively by the radiation force of ultrasound. Techniques for measuring the propagating wave due to this localized force are studied. The excitation force can be either a very short pulse or a modulated cw signal of a few hundred hertz. The temporal resolution of this method, which is in the range of microseconds, is much higher than the conventional pressure PWV method, and therefore allows the wave velocity to be measured accurately over short distances of a few millimeters.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics