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A multiphysics model for improving the ultrasonic assessment of large arteries

(2010)
Author
Promoter
(UGent) , Lasse Løvstakken and (UGent)
Organization
Abstract
Early detection of cardiovascular diseases is essential to decrease the associated death toll and health care expenses. The main cause of cardiovascular diseases is atherosclerosis, a thickening and hardening of the vessel wall, which may lead to vessel-narrowing plaques. Rupture of such a plaque may block the blood flow to vital organs, like the heart (cardiac infarction) and brains (stroke). To improve the detection of cardiovascular diseases, it is primordial to know how preliminary stages of atherosclerosis reveal themselves. In this context, previous research has shown that atherosclerosis is associated with abnormalities in the blood flow and vessel wall. When screening for such abnormalities, ultrasound imaging may play an important role since it is a non-invasive, radiation-free technique, widely available to the cardiologist. Although cardiac imaging has been an important research and application area of medical ultrasound, vascular applications are lagging behind. However, vascular imaging may have a large potential when searching for improved detection methods. As such, the carotid artery is an ideal screening location, since it is very sensitive to the development of atherosclerosis and easily accessible with ultrasound. Further, this artery provides blood flow to the brains and hence is an interesting location when screening for stroke. Vascular imaging with ultrasound still shows important limitations: blood flow visualization is only possible in 1D and algorithms to quantify the vessel wall mechanics are still in a preliminary research phase. Hence, improved imaging and post-processing methods are needed. However, imaging development based on in-vitro and in-vivo settings does not allow validation of the ultrasound images with the actually imaged velocity field or mechanical properties. Therefore, we developed a simulation environment, which allows comparing the simulated ultrasound data with the true flow field/mechanical deformation behind the image. This requires a multiphysical approach: numerical models for the flow and wall mechanics are integrated with ultrasound simulation models. Using this multiphysical simulation model, we have evaluated commonly applied 1D blood flow visualization but also investigated the potential of multidimensional flow visualization. Further, the feasibility of assessing arterial distension and wall shear rate with ultrasound were analyzed.

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Swillens, Abigaïl. 2010. “A Multiphysics Model for Improving the Ultrasonic Assessment of Large Arteries”. Ghent, Belgium: Ghent University. Faculty of Engineering.
APA
Swillens, A. (2010). A multiphysics model for improving the ultrasonic assessment of large arteries. Ghent University. Faculty of Engineering, Ghent, Belgium.
Vancouver
1.
Swillens A. A multiphysics model for improving the ultrasonic assessment of large arteries. [Ghent, Belgium]: Ghent University. Faculty of Engineering; 2010.
MLA
Swillens, Abigaïl. “A Multiphysics Model for Improving the Ultrasonic Assessment of Large Arteries.” 2010 : n. pag. Print.
@phdthesis{1004742,
  abstract     = {Early detection of cardiovascular diseases is essential to decrease the associated death toll and health care expenses. The main cause of cardiovascular diseases is atherosclerosis, a thickening and hardening of the vessel wall, which may lead to vessel-narrowing plaques. Rupture of such a plaque may block the blood flow to vital organs, like the heart (cardiac infarction) and brains (stroke). To improve the detection of cardiovascular diseases, it is primordial to know how preliminary stages of atherosclerosis reveal themselves. In this context, previous research has shown that atherosclerosis is associated with abnormalities in the blood flow and vessel wall. 
When screening for such abnormalities, ultrasound imaging may play an important role since it is a non-invasive, radiation-free technique, widely available to the cardiologist. Although cardiac imaging has been an important research and application area of medical ultrasound, vascular applications are lagging behind. However, vascular imaging may have a large potential when searching for improved detection methods. As such, the carotid artery is an ideal screening location, since it is very sensitive to the development of atherosclerosis and easily accessible with ultrasound. Further, this artery provides blood flow to the brains and hence is an interesting location when screening for stroke.
Vascular imaging with ultrasound still shows important limitations: blood flow visualization is only possible in 1D and algorithms to quantify the vessel wall mechanics are still in a preliminary research phase. Hence, improved imaging and post-processing methods are needed. However, imaging development based on in-vitro and in-vivo settings does not allow validation of the ultrasound images with the actually imaged velocity field or mechanical properties. Therefore, we developed a simulation environment, which allows comparing the simulated ultrasound data with the true flow field/mechanical deformation behind the image. This requires a multiphysical approach: numerical models for the flow and wall mechanics are integrated with ultrasound simulation models. Using this multiphysical simulation model, we have evaluated commonly applied 1D blood flow visualization but also investigated the potential of multidimensional flow visualization. Further, the feasibility of assessing arterial distension and wall shear rate with ultrasound were analyzed.},
  author       = {Swillens, Abiga{\"i}l},
  isbn         = {9789085783558},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {LXX, 283},
  publisher    = {Ghent University. Faculty of Engineering},
  school       = {Ghent University},
  title        = {A multiphysics model for improving the ultrasonic assessment of large arteries},
  url          = {http://lib.ugent.be/fulltxt/RUG01/001/400/359/RUG01-001400359\_2010\_0001\_AC.pdf},
  year         = {2010},
}