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A method for measuring the variation of intima-media thickness during the entire cardiac cycle using B-Mode images

  • Tobias Erlöv
  • Åsa Rydén Ahlgren
  • Tomas Jansson
  • Hans W Persson
  • Kjell Lindström
  • Jan Nilsson
  • Magnus Cinthio
Publishing year: 2011
Language: English
Pages: 2126-2129
Publication/Series: 2011 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS)
Document type: Conference paper
Publisher: IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.

Abstract english

Increased intima-media thickness (IMT) has been shown to predict cardiovascular risk, and measurement of intima-media thickness has been extensively used in medical research since the mid-1990s. IMT is conventionally measured by manual tracing, however this method is very time-consuming and suffers from large inter-observer variability. Numerous methods, both semi-automatic and fully-automatic, have been suggested to limit the influence of the observer. However, most methods only report one value per cardiac cycle instead of the variation of IMT over time. We propose a new method that measures the variation of IMT during the entire cardiac cycle. The method tracks spatial variations with compensation for both longitudinal movement and angle variations. This enables detection of positions where an inaccurate measurement of IMT has occurred. These can then be removed from the calculations in order to maximize the accuracy. The method was evaluated in vivo on 20 healthy individuals (mean age 38 years, range 25-57). The overall IMT in diastole (IMTdia) was 717+/-69 mu m and the intima-media compression (IMC) was 66+/-21 mu m which corresponds to a 9.2+/-2.6% maximal compression of the arterial wall during a cardiac cycle. The CV was 3.5% for IMTdia and 9.9% for IMC. Extending traditional IMT measurement to include also the variation of IMT during a cardiac cycle may improve the individual risk classification for cardiovascular diseases.


  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
  • intima-media thickness
  • intima-media compression
  • longitudinal movement
  • carotid artery
  • non-invasive ultrasound


IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS), 2011
2011-10-18 - 2011-10-21
Orlando, FL, United States
  • Clinical Physiology, Malmö
  • Cardiovascular Research - Immunity and Athersosclerosis
  • ISBN: 978-1-4577-1253-1
E-mail: jan [dot] nilsson [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Lund University Diabetes Centre, CRC, SUS Malmö, Jan Waldenströms gata 35, House 91:12. SE-214 28 Malmö. Telephone: +46 40 39 10 00