26 June 2017 Characterization of the mechanical behavior and pathophysiological state of abdominal aortic aneurysms based on 4D ultrasound strain imaging
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Abstract
Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) are a degenerative disease of the human aortic wall that may lead to weakening and eventually rupture of the wall with high mortality rates. Since the currently established criterion for surgical or endovascular treatment of the disease is imprecise in the individual case and treatment is not free of complications, the need for additional patient-individual biomarkers for short-term AAA rupture risk as basis for improved clinical decision making. Time resolved 3D ultrasound combined with speckle tracking algorithms is a novel non-invasive medical imaging technique that provides full-field displacement and strain measurements of aortic and aneurysmal wall motion. This is patient-individual information that has not been used so far to assess wall strength and rupture risk. The current study uses simple statistical indices of the heterogeneous spatial distribution of in-plane strain components as biomarkers for the pathological state of the aortic and aneurysmal wall. The pathophysiological rationale behind this approach are the known changes in microstructural composition of the aortic wall with progression of AAA development that results in increased stiffening and heterogeneity of the walls mechanical properties and in decreased wall strength. In a comparative analysis of the aortic wall motion of young volunteers without known cardiovascular diseases, aged arteriosclerotic patients without AAA, and AAA patients, mean values of all in-plane strain components were significantly reduced, and the heterogeneity of circumferential strain was significantly increased in the AAA group compared to both other groups. The capacity of the proposed method to differentiate between wall motion of aged, arteriosclerotic patients and AAA patients is a promising step towards a new method for in vivo assessment of AAA wall strength or stratification of AAA rupture risk as basis for improved clinical decision making on surgical or endovascular treatment of AAA.
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Andreas Wittek, Christopher Blase, Wojciech Derwich, Thomas Schmitz-Rixen, Claus-Peter Fritzen, "Characterization of the mechanical behavior and pathophysiological state of abdominal aortic aneurysms based on 4D ultrasound strain imaging", Proc. SPIE 10333, Optical Methods for Inspection, Characterization, and Imaging of Biomaterials III, 1033303 (26 June 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2271979; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2271979
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