We propose a method for assessment of the degree of red blood cell (RBC) aggregation using the backscattering property of high-frequency ultrasound. In this method, the scattering property of RBCs is extracted from the power spectrum of RBC echoes normalized by that from the posterior wall of a vein. In an experimental study using a phantom, employing the proposed method, the sizes of microspheres 5 and 20μm in diameter were estimated to have mean values of 4.7 and 17.3μm and standard deviations of 1.9 and 1.4 μm, respectively. In an in vivo experimental study, we compared the results between three healthy subjects and four diabetic patients. The average estimated scatterer diameters in healthy subjects at rest and during avascularization were 7 and 28 μm, respectively. In contrast, those in diabetic patients receiving both antithrombotic therapy and insulin therapy were 11 and 46 μm, respectively. These results show that the proposed method has high potential for clinical application to assess RBC aggregation, which may be related to the progress of diabetes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)