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Research Papers

Effect of Local Neck Anatomy on Localized One-Dimensional Measurements of Arterial Stiffness: A Finite-Element Model Study

[+] Author and Article Information
Adriaan Campo

Ultrasound Elasticity Imaging Laboratory,
Columbia University,
Columbia University Medical Campus,
630 West 168th Street,
Physicians & Surgeons 19-418,
New York, NY 10032;
Laboratory of Biomedical Physics,
Antwerp University,
Campus Groenenborger,
Groenenborgerlaan 171 G.U.339,
Antwerp 2020, Belgium
e-mail: adriaan.campo@ua.ac.be

Matthew D. McGarry

Thayer School of Engineering Dartmouth,
14 Engineering Drive,
Hanover, NH 03755
e-mail: matthew.d.mcgarry@dartmouth.edu

Thomas Panis

Radiology Department,
University Hospital of Brussels,
UZ Brussel, Campus Jette, Laarbeeklaan 101,
Brussels B-1090, Belgium
e-mail: Thomas.panis@gmail.com

Joris Dirckx

Laboratory of Biomedical Physics,
Antwerp University,
Campus Groenenborger,
Groenenborgerlaan 171 G.U.342,
Antwerp 2020, Belgium
e-mail: joris.dirckx@ua.ac.be

Elisa Konofagou

Ultrasound Elasticity Imaging Laboratory,
Columbia University,
Columbia University Medical Campus,
630 West 168th Street,
Physicians & Surgeons 19-418,
New York, NY 10032
e-mail: ek2191@columbia.edu

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received April 9, 2018; final manuscript received December 3, 2018; published online January 31, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Jonathan Vande Geest.

J Biomech Eng 141(3), 031011 (Jan 31, 2019) (9 pages) Paper No: BIO-18-1170; doi: 10.1115/1.4042435 History: Received April 09, 2018; Revised December 03, 2018

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the most prevalent cause of death in the Western World, and their prevalence is only expected to rise. Several screening modalities aim at detecting CVD at the early stages. A common target for early screening is common carotid artery (CCA) stiffness, as reflected in the pulse wave velocity (PWV). For assessing the CCA stiffness using ultrasound (US), one-dimensional (1D) measurements along the CCA axis are typically used, ignoring possible boundary conditions of neck anatomy and the US probe itself. In this study, the effect of stresses and deformations induced by the US probe, and the effect of anatomy surrounding CCA on a simulated 1D stiffness measurement (PWVus) is compared with the ground truth stiffness (PWVgt) in 60 finite-element models (FEM) derived from anatomical computed tomography (CT) scans of ten healthy male volunteers. Based on prior knowledge from the literature, and from results in this study, we conclude that it is safe to approximate arterial stiffness using 1D measurements of compliance or pulse wave velocity, regardless of boundary conditions emerging from the anatomy or from the measurement procedure.

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Schematic rendition of the CCA and the bifurcation. CT slice 1 was always taken 10 mm below the wall of the far side of the bifurcation. Slice 2 and 3 were taken 20 and 40 mm below slice 1, respectively (not to scale). Common carotid artery (CCA), internal carotid artery (ICA), external carotid artery (ECA), carotid bifurcation (Bifurcation), and carotid bulb (Bulb).

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Example of a CT slice used in this study (left pane), and the simplified parameterized FE model representing potentially important geometrical factors (right pane). The CCA and JV are modeled as circular tubes with a 1 mm thick isotropic elastic wall (E = 200/100 kPa, v = 0.49) embedded in a softer elastic isotropic medium (E = 1–100 kPa, v = 0.49, yellow dashed circles), modeled as a nonsliding interface. The elastic isotropic medium has a fixed boundary condition (marked as red dashed lines) where it touches the trachea (yellow dashed line) and the vertebrae (yellow dashed line) as well as 20 cm away laterally from these structures. In the right pane, parts that are not shown are indicated as (//). The skin surface can move freely (marked as green dashed line). The viewing angle of the probe is considered perpendicular to the skin surface, and going through the center of the CCA (orange dashed line, right pane). Additionally, the mesh is displayed (right pane). Pink numbers/arrows indicate measured parameters: distance between CCA-JV (1), 2.9 mm; distance CCA-skin (2), 28 mm; distance CCA-tracheal cartilage (3), 11 mm; distance CCA-vertebrae (4), 16 mm.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Deformed FE model, displayed without mesh. The probe movement is modeled as a fixed displacement boundary condition, representing an inward displacement of 5 mm. The circular structures are the common carotid artery (CCA, left) and the jugular vein (JV, right). Maximal principal stresses are displayed, reaching values as high as 45 kPa in this example.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

A convergence analysis was performed. FE models all have between 50,000 and 100,000 elements, depending on their respective size.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

An analytic model of a thin walled pipe with a fixed Young's modulus (E = 200 kPa, v = 0.49) embedded in a softer medium with varying Young's modulus (E = 1–100 kPa, v = 0.49) (middle pane) was compared with the FE models of this study (in absence of any probe stresses) (left pane). Results for PWV based analytic and FE models coincide with less than 0.01% difference (right pane). Max PS = maximal principal stress.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

In order to measure the internal CCA lumen diameter D, the probe is placed along the CCA, and the distance between upper and lower CCA wall is measured

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Correlation plot (left pane) and Bland–Altman plot (right pane) of PWVgt in absence of probe stresses and PWVus in presence of probe stresses

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Correlation plot of the difference between PWVgt in absence of probe stresses and PWVus in presence of probe stresses as compared to the distance of the carotid to the laryngeal cartilage (left pane) and the skin surface (right pane)

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