Determining plaque vulnerability is critical when selecting the most suitable treatment for patients with atherosclerotic plaque. Currently, clinical non-invasive ultrasound-based methods for plaque characterization are limited to visual assessment of plaque morphology and new quantitative methods are needed. In this study, shear wave elastography (SWE) was used to characterize hard and soft plaque mimicking inclusions in six common carotid artery phantoms by using phase velocity analysis in static and dynamic environments. The results were validated with mechanical tensile testing. In the static environment, SWE measured a mean shear modulus of 5.8 ± 0.3 kPa and 106.2 ± 17.2 kPa versus 3.3 ± 0.5 kPa and 98.3 ± 3.4 kPa measured by mechanical testing in the soft and hard plaques respectively. Furthermore, it was possible to measure the plaques' shear moduli throughout a simulated cardiac cycle. The results show good agreement between SWE and mechanical testing and indicate the possibility for in vivo arterial plaque characterization using SWE.
- carotid artery
- mechanical testing
- plaque characterization
- shear wave elastography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging