Pathologic changes in arterial walls significantly influence their mechanical properties. We have developed a correlationbased method, the phased tracking method [H. Kanai et al.: IEEE Trans. Ultrason. Ferroelectr. Freq. Control 43 (1996) 791], for measurement of the regional elasticity of the arterial wall. Using this method, elasticity distributions of lipids, blood clots, fibrous tissue, and calcified tissue were measured in vitro by experiments on excised arteries (mean ± SD: lipids 89 ± 47 kPa, blood clots 131 ± 56kPa, fibrous tissue 1022 ± 1040kPa, calcified tissue 2267 ± 1228kPa) [H. Kanai et al.: Circulation 107 (2003) 3018; J. Inagaki et al.: Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 44 (2005) 4593]. It was found that arterial tissues can be classified into soft tissues (lipids and blood clots) and hard tissues (fibrous tissue and calcified tissue) on the basis of their elasticity. However, there are large overlaps between elasticity distributions of lipids and blood clots and those of fibrous tissue and calcified tissue. Thus, it was difficult to differentiate lipids from blood clots and fibrous tissue from calcified tissue by simply thresholding elasticity value. Therefore, we previously proposed a method by classifying the elasticity distribution in each region of interest (ROI) (not a single pixel) in an elasticity image into lipids, blood clots, fibrous tissue, or calcified tissue based on a likelihood function for each tissue [J. Inagaki et al.: Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 44 (2006) 4732]. In our previous study, the optimum size of an ROI was determined to be 1,500μm in the arterial radial direction and 1,500μm in the arterial longitudinal direction [K. Tsuzuki et al.: Ultrasound Med. Biol. 34 (2008) 573]. In this study, the threshold for the likelihood function used in the tissue classification was set by evaluating the variance in the ultrasonic measurement of radial strain. The recognition rate was improved from 50 to 54% by the proposed thresholding.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)