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Transcutaneous very-high-resolution ultrasound to quantify arterial wall layers of muscular and elastic arteries: Validation of a method

  • Author Footnotes
    1 Dr Sarkola's address (after 1.7.2010): Division of Cardiology, Helsinki University Central Hospital for Children and Adolescents, POB 00029, HUS, Finland.
    Taisto Sarkola
    Footnotes
    1 Dr Sarkola's address (after 1.7.2010): Division of Cardiology, Helsinki University Central Hospital for Children and Adolescents, POB 00029, HUS, Finland.
    Affiliations
    Division of Cardiology, Labatt Family Heart Centre, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
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  • Andrew Redington
    Affiliations
    Division of Cardiology, Labatt Family Heart Centre, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

    Research Institute, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
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  • Fred Keeley
    Affiliations
    Research Institute, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
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  • Timothy Bradley
    Affiliations
    Division of Cardiology, Labatt Family Heart Centre, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
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  • Edgar Jaeggi
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: Labatt Family Heart Centre, The Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1X8, Canada. Tel.: +1 416 813 7466; fax: +1 416 813 7547.
    Affiliations
    Division of Cardiology, Labatt Family Heart Centre, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

    Research Institute, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
    Search for articles by this author
  • Author Footnotes
    1 Dr Sarkola's address (after 1.7.2010): Division of Cardiology, Helsinki University Central Hospital for Children and Adolescents, POB 00029, HUS, Finland.

      Abstract

      Background

      High-resolution ultrasound (HRU) is used to measure carotid intima-media thickness (IMT). We postulated that very-high-resolution ultrasound (VHRU, 25–55 MHz) provides more detailed information on arterial morphology.

      Methods

      Rabbit and pig arterial specimens and artificial elastin membranes were studied with HRU and VHRU, and compared to histology. Bilateral carotid, brachial, radial, ulnar, femoral, and tibial arteries were imaged in vivo in 15 humans to determine the precision of VHRU and in 53 teenagers to compare VHRU to HRU.

      Results

      The assessment of IMT, adventitia thickness (AT) and combined intima-media-adventitia thickness (IMAT) in muscular arteries was accurate and precise by VHRU with the exception that the AT of the smallest arteries was not delineated with 25 MHz. VHRU was accurate and precise for IMAT in small and for IMT in large elastic arteries and allowed to qualitatively assess elastin fibers of the media. HRU was accurate for IMT of large muscular and elastic arteries only. Intima thickness (IT) was grossly overestimated by both VHRU and HRU.

      Conclusion

      Transcutaneous VHRU provides a noninvasive method of quantifying elastic and muscular arterial AT, IMT and IMAT in children and adults, but neither VHRU nor HRU is able to assess IT in non-diseased vessels.

      Keywords

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