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20 March 2014 Assessment of aortic pulse wave velocity by ultrasound: a feasibility study in mice
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Pulse wave velocity (PWV) is considered a surrogate marker of arterial stiffness and could be useful for characterizing cardiovascular disease progression even in mouse models. Aim of this study was to develop an image process algorithm for assessing arterial PWV in mice using ultrasound (US) images only and test it on the evaluation of age-associated differences in abdominal aorta PWV (aaPWV). US scans were obtained from six adult (7 months) and six old (19 months) wild type male mice (strain C57BL6) under gaseous anaesthesia. For each mouse, diameter and flow velocity instantaneous values were achieved from abdominal aorta B-mode and PW-Doppler images; all measurements were obtained using edge detection and contour tracking techniques. Single-beat mean diameter and velocity were calculated and time-aligned, providing the lnD-V loop. aaPWV values were obtained from the slope of the linear part of the loop (the early systolic phase), while relative distension (relD) measurements were calculated from the mean diameter signal. aaPWV values for young mice (3.5±0.52 m/s) were lower than those obtained for older ones (5.12±0.98 m/s) while relD measurements were higher in young (25%±7%) compared with older animals evaluations (15%±3%). All measurements were significantly different between the two groups (P<0.01 both). In conclusion, the proposed image processing technique well discriminate between age groups. Since it provides PWV assessment just from US images, it could represent a simply and useful system for vascular stiffness evaluation at any arterial site in the mouse, even in preclinical small animal models.
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Francesco Faita, Nicole Di Lascio, Francesco Stea, Claudia Kusmic, and Rosa Sicari "Assessment of aortic pulse wave velocity by ultrasound: a feasibility study in mice", Proc. SPIE 9040, Medical Imaging 2014: Ultrasonic Imaging and Tomography, 90401Z (20 March 2014);

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