We have demonstrated the feasibility of a new imaging method, called Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse (ARFI) imaging in defining the mechanical properties of vascular tissue using ultrasonic radiation force. Results from the previous period of funding indicate that the method is capable of reliably distinguishing stiffness in cryogel models of human vascular tissues, including models of atherosclerotic plaques. In addition, we have demonstrated the ability of this technique to image the mechanical composition of in vivo carotid plaques in studies of the carotid artery in human volunteers and in excised animal and human arteries. We propose to further develop this technique for imaging moderate to highly stenotic plaques in the carotid artery, including the development of a 3-D imaging system to completely characterize the plaque and normal vasculature. We propose in vivo studies to develop and evaluate this technique in moderate to highly stenotic patients who are scheduled for endarterectomy and to correlate the resulting images with the histology of the excised samples. In addition, we propose an in vivo clinical study to assess the ability of combined 3-D ARFI/Doppler/B-mode images to predict the progression of the plaque and the necessity of surgical treatment for asymptomatic patients based on the morphology and mechanical composition of the carotid plaque.

Public Health Relevance

We have developed a new imaging method that displays the stiffness of blood vessels and of the plaques that can clog vessels. We propose to improve this method and to install it on a clinical ultrasonic scanner. We will then test whether it can, by classifying plaques in the carotid artery as either soft or hard, predict which patients will have strokes over a two year period.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-SBIB-P (02))
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Buxton, Denis B
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Duke University
Biomedical Engineering
Schools of Engineering
United States
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Doherty, Joshua R; Trahey, Gregg E; Nightingale, Kathryn R et al. (2013) Acoustic radiation force elasticity imaging in diagnostic ultrasound. IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control 60:685-701
Doherty, Joshua R; Dahl, Jeremy J; Trahey, Gregg E (2013) Harmonic tracking of acoustic radiation force-induced displacements. IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control 60:2347-58
Doherty, Joshua R; Dumont, Douglas M; Trahey, Gregg E et al. (2013) Acoustic radiation force impulse imaging of vulnerable plaques: a finite element method parametric analysis. J Biomech 46:83-90
Lediju, Muyinatu A; Trahey, Gregg E; Byram, Brett C et al. (2011) Short-lag spatial coherence of backscattered echoes: imaging characteristics. IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control 58:1377-88
Allen, Jason D; Ham, Katherine L; Dumont, Douglas M et al. (2011) The development and potential of acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) imaging for carotid artery plaque characterization. Vasc Med 16:302-11
Dumont, Douglas M; Doherty, Joshua R; Trahey, Gregg E (2011) Noninvasive assessment of wall-shear rate and vascular elasticity using combined ARFI/SWEI/spectral Doppler imaging system. Ultrason Imaging 33:165-88
Pinton, Gianmarco F; Trahey, Gregg E; Dahl, Jeremy J (2011) Sources of image degradation in fundamental and harmonic ultrasound imaging using nonlinear, full-wave simulations. IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control 58:754-65
Dahl, Jeremy J; Dumont, Douglas M; Allen, Jason D et al. (2009) Acoustic radiation force impulse imaging for noninvasive characterization of carotid artery atherosclerotic plaques: a feasibility study. Ultrasound Med Biol 35:707-16
Dumont, Douglas; Dahl, Jeremy; Miller, Elizabeth et al. (2009) Lower-limb vascular imaging with acoustic radiation force elastography: demonstration of in vivo feasibility. IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control 56:931-44
Pinton, Gianmarco F; Dahl, Jeremy; Rosenzweig, Stephen et al. (2009) A heterogeneous nonlinear attenuating full-wave model of ultrasound. IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control 56:474-88

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