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Proceedings ArticleDOI

Ultrasound signal quality parameterization for image-free evaluation of arterial stiffness.

01 Jan 2014-Vol. 2014, pp 2326-2329

TL;DR: A novel algorithm to parameterize the echo signal received from the common carotid artery (CCA) to improve accuracy and reliability of arterial stiffness measurement is proposed.

AbstractWe are in process of developing an image-free, single element ultrasound system for automated evaluation of arterial stiffness, we call it ARTSENS. The lack of a guiding image for arterial visualization necessitates intelligent analysis of ultrasound radio frequency (RF) echo signals to obtain reliable measurements. In this paper, we propose a novel algorithm to parameterize the echo signal received from the common carotid artery (CCA) to improve accuracy and reliability of arterial stiffness measurement. The echo signal quality is parameterized using features such as sharpness of arterial wall and energy ratio. A signal quality score is calculated by integrating the results from each feature. This score is used to triage the set of available echo signals recorded from each subject and select the best signal for computation of stiffness values. The performance of signal quality algorithm is tested using a database of carotid artery echo signals recorded from 28 human volunteers. It was observed that both the accuracy and reliability of the stiffness measurements were improved after triaging using the signal quality parameterization algorithm.

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Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A novel approach using the autocorrelation of echoes from opposite walls of the artery has been discussed, to bring down the curve fitting time and facilitate processing on low-end processors.
Abstract: Over past few years, we are developing a system for facilitating large scale screening of patients for cardiovascular risk - ARTSENS. ARTSENS is an image-free device that uses a single element ultrasound transducer to obtain non-invasive measurements of arterial stiffness (AS) in a fully automated manner. AS is directly proportional to end-diastolic lumen diameter (�� �� ). Multi- layered structure of the arterial walls and indistinct characteristics of intima-lumen interface (ILI) makes it quite difficult to accurately estimate �� �� in A-Mode radio-frequency (RF) frames obtained from ARTSENS. In this paper, we propose a few methods based on fitting simple mathematical models to the echoes from arterial walls, followed by a novel method to fuse the information from curve fitting error and distension curve to arrive at an accurate measure of �� ��. To bring down the curve fitting time and facilitate processing on low-end processors, a novel approach using the autocorrelation of echoes from opposite walls of the artery has been discussed. The methods were analyzed for their comparative accuracy against reference �� �� obtained from 85 human volunteers using Hitachi-Aloka eTRACKING system. �� �� from all reported methods show strong and statistically significant positive correlation with eTRACKING and mean error of less than 7 % could be achieved. As expected, �� �� from all methods show significant positive correlation with age.

20 citations


Cites background from "Ultrasound signal quality parameter..."

  • ...Off-axis reflections have poor signal quality [20] that are automatically rejected by intelligent wall identification [11] and signal parametrization algorithms [21], reported by us earlier....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The feasibility of calibration-free, cuffless BP measurement at an arterial site of interest was demonstrated with a level of acceptable accuracy and the potential utility of the proposed method and system in hypertension screening and local evaluation of arterial stiffness indices was demonstrated.
Abstract: Objective: We propose a calibration-free method and system for cuffless blood pressure (BP) measurement from superficial arteries. A prototype device with bi-modal probe arrangement was designed and developed to estimate carotid BP – an indicator of central aortic pressure. Methods: Mathematical models relating BP parameters of an arterial segment to its dimensions and local pulse wave velocity (PWV) are introduced. A bi-modal probe utilizing ultrasound and photoplethysmograph sensors was developed and used to measure diameter values and local PWV from the carotid artery. Carotid BP was estimated using the measured physiological parameters without any subject- or population-specific calibration procedures. The proposed cuffless BP estimation method and system were tested for accuracy, usability, and for potential utility in hypertension screening, on a total of 83 subjects. Results: The prototype device demonstrated its capability of detecting beat-by-beat arterial dimensions and local PWV simultaneously. Carotid diastolic BP (DBP) and systolic BP (SBP) were estimated over multiple cardiac cycles in real-time. The absolute error in carotid DBP was Conclusion: The feasibility of calibration-free, cuffless BP measurement at an arterial site of interest was demonstrated with a level of acceptable accuracy. The study also demonstrated the potential utility of the proposed method and system in hypertension screening and local evaluation of arterial stiffness indices. Significance: Novel approach for calibration-free cuffless BP estimation; a potential tool for local BP measurement and hypertension screening.

20 citations


Cites methods from "Ultrasound signal quality parameter..."

  • ...The signal quality score was computed by considering the energy ratio and sharpness of the echoes recorded from both the proximal and distal walls of the artery [29]....

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  • ...ultrasound echo and PPG signal were received in the digital domain, their signal quality determination [29], identification of the locations of arterial walls in the echo frame, tracking their...

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  • ...experimentally validated in our previous study [29]....

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Proceedings ArticleDOI
06 Nov 2014
TL;DR: A method based on temporal motion of PW and DW over successive A-Mode frames to locate the common carotid artery (CCA) and a method for preprocessing the frames by using the transmitted pulse wavelet improved the detection rate significantly.
Abstract: We have been developing a fully automated ultrasound based imageless system to facilitate mass screening of patients for future risk of cardiovascular diseases. The device shall enable a general medical practitioner to non-invasively measure the local arterial stiffness of common carotid artery (CCA) and has been acronymed ARTerial Stiffness Evaluation for Non-invasive Screening (ARTSENS™). Complete automation of the system requires providing assistance in placement of probe over the CCA location and automatic identification of approximate location of proximal wall (PW) and distal wall (DW) of the CCA. In this paper we propose a method based on temporal motion of PW and DW over successive A-Mode frames to locate the CCA. We evaluated the performance of the algorithm with data obtained from CCA of 30 subjects. It could correctly identify the CCA in more than 70 % of trials. We also propose a method for preprocessing the frames by using the transmitted pulse wavelet. This improved the detection rate significantly. False positives were always less than 6% of total detections.

13 citations


Cites methods from "Ultrasound signal quality parameter..."

  • ...This check is done by set of methods based on measurement of ratio of energy of wall echoes to lumen echoes and analysis of sharpness of echoes [7]....

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Proceedings ArticleDOI
15 May 2016
TL;DR: The ARTSENS® Pen was found to be capable of providing accurate and repeatable measures of arterial stiffness in an easy manner and has strong potential in large scale vascular screening.
Abstract: Evaluation of vascular stiffness is significant in diagnosis for early detection of vascular injury and has potential in screening individuals at risk of future cardiovascular events. State of art techniques use an imaging system for measuring carotid artery stiffness, or rely on carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV) to evaluate vascular stiffness. These techniques are costly, require expertise to perform and are not amenable for scaling to the population level. To address this gap, we have developed ARTSENS® Pen, a high portable, small, ultrasound based instrument for automated evaluation of carotid artery stiffness. The device has an integrated hardware for ultrasound signal acquisition and digitization that operate along with any Windows tablet for data visualization and result display. Algorithms for real time signal processing and automated artery wall identification and tracking ensures a completely automated measurement of carotid artery stiffness with no operator input. The accuracy of automated arterial dimension measurements performed by ARTSENS®Pen is verified by phantom studies in comparison with a reference ultrasound imaging system. The ability of the device to provide reliable measures of arterial stiffness in-vivo is verified by a systematic study on 29 volunteers. The inter operator and intra-operator variability of stiffness index, β was evaluated to be 17% and 9% respectively. The ARTSENS® Pen was found to be capable of providing accurate and repeatable measures of arterial stiffness in an easy manner and has strong potential in large scale vascular screening.

12 citations


Cites methods from "Ultrasound signal quality parameter..."

  • ...To ensure accuracy of measurements during continued in-vivo trials, real time evaluations of the signal quality is also performed and only echo signals passing the quality check conditions are used for measurements [20]....

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Journal ArticleDOI
16 Aug 2018-PLOS ONE
TL;DR: This technique could provide a direct measurement of local PWV, arterial dimensions, and a calibration-free estimate of beat-by-beat local ΔP, and can be potentially extended for cuffless BP measurement and non-invasive characterization of central arteries with locally estimated biomechanical properties.
Abstract: Objective Assessment of local arterial properties has become increasingly important in cardiovascular research as well as in clinical domains. Vascular wall stiffness indices are related to local pulse pressure (ΔP) level, mechanical and geometrical characteristics of the arterial vessel. Non-invasive evaluation of local ΔP from the central arteries (aorta and carotid) is not straightforward in a non-specialist clinical setting. In this work, we present a method and system for real-time and beat-by-beat evaluation of local ΔP from superficial arteries—a non-invasive, cuffless and calibration-free technique. Methods The proposed technique uses a bi-modal arterial compliance probe which consisted of two identical magnetic plethysmograph (MPG) sensors located at 23 mm distance apart and a single-element ultrasound transducer. Simultaneously measured local pulse wave velocity (PWV) and arterial dimensions were used in a mathematical model for calibration-free evaluation of local ΔP. The proposed approach was initially verified using an arterial flow phantom, with invasive pressure catheter as the reference device. The developed porotype device was validated on 22 normotensive human subjects (age = 24.5 ± 4 years). Two independent measurements of local ΔP from the carotid artery were made during physically relaxed and post-exercise condition. Results Phantom-based verification study yielded a correlation coefficient (r) of 0.93 (p < 0.001) for estimated ΔP versus reference brachial ΔP, with a non-significant bias and standard deviation of error equal to 1.11 mmHg and ±1.97 mmHg respectively. The ability of the developed system to acquire high-fidelity waveforms (dual MPG signals and ultrasound echoes from proximal and distal arterial walls) from the carotid artery was demonstrated by the in-vivo validation study. The group average beat-to-beat variation in measured carotid local PWV, arterial diameter parameters—distension and end-diastolic diameter, and local ΔP were 4.2%, 2.6%, 3.3%, and 10.2% respectively in physically relaxed condition. Consistent with the physiological phenomenon, local ΔP measured from the carotid artery of young populations was, on an average, 22 mmHg lower than the reference ΔP obtained from the brachial artery. Like the reference brachial blood pressure (BP) monitor, the developed prototype device reliably captured variations in carotid local ΔP induced by an external intervention. Conclusion This technique could provide a direct measurement of local PWV, arterial dimensions, and a calibration-free estimate of beat-by-beat local ΔP. It can be potentially extended for calibration-free cuffless BP measurement and non-invasive characterization of central arteries with locally estimated biomechanical properties.

8 citations


Cites methods from "Ultrasound signal quality parameter..."

  • ...During the tracking phase, the signal quality of the acquired ultrasound echo signals was inspected continuously by an application-specific signal quality parameterization algorithm [8]....

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  • ...We have demonstrated automated measurement algorithms [1-3, 7] and the signal quality evaluation algorithms [8] in a series of publications....

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References
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TL;DR: The effects of current and future cardiovascular drugs on arterial stiffness are discussed, as is the relationship between arterial elasticity and endothelial function.
Abstract: Investigation of arterial stiffness, especially of the large arteries, has gathered pace in recent years with the development of readily available noninvasive assessment techniques. These include the measurement of pulse wave velocity, the use of ultrasound to relate the change in diameter or area of an artery to distending pressure, and analysis of arterial waveforms obtained by applanation tonometry. Here, we describe each of these techniques and their limitations and discuss how the measured parameters relate to established cardiovascular risk factors and clinical outcome. We also consider which techniques might be most appropriate for wider clinical application. Finally, the effects of current and future cardiovascular drugs on arterial stiffness are also discussed, as is the relationship between arterial elasticity and endothelial function.

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TL;DR: There is an urgent need for development and implementation of suitable primordial, primary, and secondary prevention approaches for control of this epidemic of coronary heart disease in India.
Abstract: Coronary heart disease (CHD) is epidemic in India and one of the major causes of disease-burden and deaths. Mortality data from the Registrar General of India shows that cardiovascular diseases are a major cause of death in India now. Studies to determine the precise causes of death in urban Chennai and rural areas of Andhra Pradesh have revealed that cardiovascular diseases cause about 40% of the deaths in urban areas and 30% in rural areas. Analysis of cross-sectional CHD epidemiological studies performed over the past 50 years reveals that this condition is increasing in both urban and rural areas. The adult prevalence has increased in urban areas from about 2% in 1960 to 6.5% in 1970, 7.0% in 1980, 9.7% in 1990 and 10.5% in 2000; while in rural areas, it increased from 2% in 1970, to 2.5% in 1980, 4% in 1990, and 4.5% in 2000. In terms of absolute numbers this translates into 30 million CHD patients in the country. The disease occurs at a much younger age in Indians as compared to those in North America and Western Europe. Rural-urban differences reveal that risk factors like obesity, truncal obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol and diabetes are more in urban areas. Case-control studies also confirm the importance of these risk factors. The INTERHEART-South Asia study identified that eight established coronary risk factors--abnormal lipids, smoking, hypertension, diabetes, abdominal obesity, psychosocial factors, low fruit and vegetable consumption, and lack of physical activity--accounted for 89% of the cases of acute myocardial infarction in Indians. There is epidemiological evidence that all these risk factors are increasing. Over the past fifty years prevalence of obesity, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and diabetes have increased significantly in urban (R2 0.45-0.74) and slowly in rural areas (R2 0.19-0.29). There is an urgent need for development and implementation of suitable primordial, primary, and secondary prevention approaches for control of this epidemic. An urgent and sincere bureaucratic, political, and social will to initiate steps in this direction is required.

95 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A simple instrument for noninvasive in vivo evaluation of arterial compliance using a single element ultrasound transducer that can measure arterial distension with a precision better than 5 and the end-diastolic arterial diameter with an accuracy of 1%.
Abstract: Measurement of arterial distensibility is very important in cardiovascular diagnosis for early detection of coronary heart disease and possible prediction of future cardiac events. Conventionally, B-mode ultrasound imaging systems have been used along with expensive vessel wall tracking systems for estimation of arterial distension and calculation of various estimates of compliance. We present a simple instrument for noninvasive in vivo evaluation of arterial compliance using a single element ultrasound transducer. The measurement methodology is initially validated using a proof of concept pilot experiment using a commercial ultrasound pulser-receiver. A prototype system is then developed around a PXI chassis using LABVIEW software. The virtual instrument employs a dynamic threshold algorithm to identify the artery walls and then utilizes a correlation based tracking technique to estimate arterial distension. The end-diastolic echo signals are averaged to reduce error in the automated diameter measurement process. The instrument allows automated measurement of the various measures of arterial compliance with minimal operator intervention. The performance of the virtual instrument was first analyzed using simulated data sets to establish the maximum measurement accuracy achievable under different input signal to noise ratio (SNR) levels. The system could measure distension with accuracy better than 10 μm for positive SNR. The measurement error in diameter was less than 1%. The system was then thoroughly evaluated by the experiments conducted on phantom models of the carotid artery and the accuracy and resolution were found to meet the requirements of the application. Measurements performed on human volunteers indicate that the instrument can measure arterial distension with a precision better than 5%. The end-diastolic arterial diameter can be measured with a precision better than 2% and an accuracy of 1%. The measurement system could lead to the development of small, portable, and inexpensive equipment for estimation of arterial compliance suitable in mass screening of "at risk" patients. The automated compliance measurement algorithm implemented in the instrument requires minimal operator input. The instrument could pave the way for dedicated systems for arterial compliance evaluation targeted at the general medical practitioner who has little or no expertise in vascular ultrasonography.

36 citations

Proceedings ArticleDOI
03 Jul 2013
TL;DR: The ability of ARTSENS to detect artery anatomy and measure compliance was verified by in-vivo measurements conducted on 106 subjects, and the accuracy of compliance estimates were evaluated by comparison with a state of art imaging system.
Abstract: Evaluation of arterial compliance is significant in cardiovascular diagnosis for early detection of coronary heart disease. We present ARTSENS, an image-free system for non-invasive evaluation of arterial compliance in-vivo. The system utilizes a single element ultrasound probe with intelligent measurement algorithms to ensure accurate evaluation of local arterial compliance without an image. The ability of the system to detect artery anatomy and measure compliance was verified by in-vivo measurements conducted on 106 subjects. The accuracy of compliance estimates were evaluated by comparison with a state of art imaging system. The measurements made using ARTSENS showed strong correlation with those made using the imaging system. The ability of ARTSENS to detect age-related trends in arterial compliance was also investigated.

20 citations