Purpose: Pulse wave velocity (PWV) is the propagation velocity of the pressure wave along the artery due to the heartbeat. The PWV becomes faster with progression of arteriosclerosis and, thus, can be used as a diagnostic index of arteriosclerosis. Measurement of PWV is known as a noninvasive approach for diagnosis of arteriosclerosis and is widely used in clinical situations. In the traditional PWV method, the average PWV is calculated between two points, the carotid and femoral arteries, at an interval of several tens of centimeters. However, PWV depends on part of the arterial tree, i.e., PWVs in the distal arteries are faster than those in the proximal arteries. Therefore, measurement of regional PWV is preferable. Methods: To evaluate regional PWV in the present study, the minute vibration velocity of the human carotid arterial wall was measured at intervals of 0.2 mm at 72 points in the arterial longitudinal direction by the phased-tracking method at a high temporal resolution of 3472 Hz, and PWV was estimated by applying the Hilbert transform to those waveforms. Results: In the present study, carotid arteries of three healthy subjects were measured in vivo. The PWVs in short segments of 14.4 mm in the arterial longitudinal direction were estimated to be 5.6, 6.4, and 6.7 m/s, which were in good agreement with those reported in the literature. Furthermore, for one of the subjects, a component was clearly found propagating from the periphery to the direction of the heart, i.e., a well known component reflected by the peripheral arteries. By using the proposed method, the propagation speed of the reflection component was also separately estimated to be -8.4 m/s. The higher magnitude of PWV for the reflection component was considered to be the difference in blood pressure at the arrivals of the forward and reflection components. Conclusion: Such a method would be useful for more sensitive evaluation of the change in elasticity due to progression of arteriosclerosis by measuring the regional PWV in a specific artery of interest (not the average PWV including other arteries).
- High frame rate
- Parallel beam forming
- Regional pulse wave velocity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging