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Type: Journal article
Title: Detection of subclinical atherosclerosis in asymptomatic subjects using ultrasound radiofrequency-tracking technology
Author: Niu, L.
Zhang, Y.
Meng, L.
Xiao, Y.
Wong, K.
Abbott, D.
Zheng, H.
Zheng, R.
Qian, M.
Citation: PLoS One, 2014; 9(11):e111926-1-e111926-11
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Issue Date: 2014
ISSN: 1932-6203
Statement of
Lili Niu, Yanling Zhang, Long Meng, Yang Xiao, Kelvin K. L. Wong, Derek Abbott, Hairong Zheng, Rongqin Zheng, Ming Qian
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: Atherosclerosis is a chronic and systemic disease and its developmental process involves the synergism of multiple risk factors such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes, obesity and smoking. The diagnosis of subclinical atherosclerosis is essential for strategic guidance towards suitable treatments and efficient prevention against acute cardiovascular events. This study employed ultrasound radiofrequency (RF) tracking technology to characterize human carotid arteries in vivo in terms of intima-media thickness (IMT) and artery stiffness, and evaluated the statistical correlation between carotid IMT and stiffness, and the number of risk factors for atherosclerosis. METHODS: A total of 160 asymptomatic subjects were enrolled. Ultrasound RF-tracking technology was employed to acquire carotid IMT and stiffness parameters: maximum IMT (MAXIMT), RF Quality IMT (RFQIMT), distensibility coefficient (DC), compliance coefficient (CC), aindex, b index and local pulse wave velocity (PWVb). The subjects were categorized in four groups in terms of the number of risk factors: ‘zero’, ‘single’, ‘double’, and ‘multiple’, and statistical analyses of carotid IMT and stiffness parameters were performed between these different groups. RESULTS: The subjects (n = 145) with MAXIMT smaller than 1.0 mm matched the IMT criteria for non-atherosclerosis and were named as NA-subjects. Spearman’s rho correlation analysis of the whole group and the NA-subjects both showed that MAXIMT correlated positively with RFQIMT, a, b, and PWVb, and negatively with DC and CC (p,0.01). The analysis of covariance of NA-subjects showed significant differences between subjects with and without risk factors, and also showed significant differences between the ‘zero’, ‘single’, ‘double’, and ‘multiple’ groups. CONCLUSIONS: The carotid IMT and stiffness parameters obtained by the ultrasound RF-tracking technology were demonstrated to possess significant statistical correlation with the number of risk factors from 160 subjects, and these anatomical and mechanical parameters may potentially be used together with the IMT criteria to support subclinical atherosclerosis diagnosis.
Keywords: Humans
Risk Factors
Middle Aged
Young Adult
Asymptomatic Diseases
Carotid Intima-Media Thickness
Vascular Stiffness
Pulse Wave Analysis
Rights: © 2014 Niu et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0111926
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Electrical and Electronic Engineering publications

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