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  • ARTERY 2014 Abstracts
  • Career Development Lecture
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CD2: A Multiphysics Computer Modeling Framework in Support of the Quest for Reliable and Robust Local Arterial Stiffness Assessment


Arterial stiffness has proven to be a powerful, early marker of cardiovascular diseases, with most clinical data relying on carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV) measurements, a rather global assessment of arterial stiffness. Direct, local evaluation of carotid stiffness is clinically useful, but remains technically more challenging. Hence, we have been investigating the performance of such local strategies, both from a biomechanical and image acquisition perspective. In particular, the PU-loop method (and its derived techniques) as well as ultrasonic tissue characterization techniques have been under consideration. In the former approach, PWV is derived from the slope of the blood pressure (P) versus velocity (U) signal in early systole. The latter refers to our investigation of shear wave elastography, assessing tissue stiffness by tracking shear waves artificially evoked in the tissue via the acoustic energy of an ultrasound probe.

However, previously mentioned measurement strategies are hampered in the presence of intricate vascular anatomy or tissue mechanics, inducing complex pulse/shear wave phenomena, erroneously affecting stiffness assessment. Hence, we developed a computer modeling platform for indepth investigation and validation of these measurement strategies, allowing comparison of the simulated measurement outcome with the true tissue properties, fully defined in the simulation but typically lacking during in-vitro/in-vivo evaluation. Hence, this is a multi-physics model, integrating both the biomechanics and imaging, which has allowed us to analyze arterial stiffness assessment techniques in varying biomechanical conditions as well as to investigate new imaging approaches and signal processing.

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Swillens, A., Taelman, L., Caenen, A. et al. CD2: A Multiphysics Computer Modeling Framework in Support of the Quest for Reliable and Robust Local Arterial Stiffness Assessment. Artery Res 8, 119–120 (2014).

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