Principal Strain Vascular Elastography: Simulation and Preliminary Clinical Evaluation

Rohit Nayak, Steven Huntzicker, Jacques Ohayon, Nancy Carson, Vikram Dogra, Giovanni Schifitto, Marvin M. Doyley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


It is difficult to produce reliable polar strain elastograms (radial and circumferential) because the center of the carotid artery is typically unknown. Principal strain imaging can overcome this limitation, but suboptimal lateral displacement estimates make this an impractical approach for visualizing mechanical properties within the carotid artery. We hypothesized that compounded plane wave imaging can minimize this problem. To test this hypothesis, we performed (i) simulations with vessels of varying morphology and mechanical behavior (i.e., isotropic and transversely isotropic), and (ii) a pilot study with 10 healthy volunteers. The accuracy of principal and polar strain (computed using knowledge of the precise vessel center) elastograms varied between 7% and 17%. In both types of elastograms, strain concentrated at the junction between the fibrous cap and the vessel wall, and the strain magnitude decreased with increasing fibrous cap thickness. Elastograms of healthy volunteers were consistent with those of transversely isotropic homogeneous vessels; they were spatially asymmetric, a trend that was common to both principal and polar strains. No significant differences were observed in the mean strain recovered from principal and polar strains (p > 0.05). This investigation indicates that principal strain elastograms measured with compounding plane wave imaging overcome the problems incurred when polar strain elastograms are computed with imprecise estimates of the vessel center.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)682-699
Number of pages18
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Anisotropy
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Plane wave imaging
  • Principal strain
  • Vascular elastography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biophysics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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