Noninvasive measurement of medium-sized artery intima-media thickness in humans: in vitro validation

J Vasc Res. 1994 Mar-Apr;31(2):114-20. doi: 10.1159/000159037.


Recent research in ultrasound technology has led to the development of a high-resolution echo-tracking device. The present study was performed to evaluate the accuracy in the measurement of human radial artery intima-media thickness with this new device. We determined the correlation between histological and ultrasonic measurements of intima-media thickness in 15 radial artery segments obtained from the distal end of the wrist-elbow harvest for coronary bypass grafting in patients with coronary heart disease. For arterial intima-media thickness, a positive correlation was observed between ultrasonic and histological measurements (r = 0.618; p < 0.014), and the difference between ultrasound and histology measurements was 41 +/- 66 microns, with the higher measurements found by the ultrasonic device. In a subgroup of 11 patients, we determined the correlation between in vivo ultrasonic measurements of radial artery intima-media thickness at the preoperative stage and in vitro ultrasonic measurements of intima-media thickness obtained postoperatively in the same arterial segments. Internal diameter was larger in vivo than in vitro, and intima-media thickness was smaller in vivo than in vitro. The cross-sectional area of the arterial wall was calculated from internal diameter and intima-media thickness. In vitro wall cross-sectional area was correlated with in vivo wall cross-sectional area (r = 0.929; p < 0.0001). Repeatability of in vivo intima-media thickness measurements was investigated in 10 subjects through the calculation of the repeatability coefficient as defined by the British Standards Institution.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Middle Aged
  • Radial Artery / anatomy & histology
  • Radial Artery / diagnostic imaging*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Tunica Intima / anatomy & histology
  • Tunica Intima / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tunica Media / anatomy & histology
  • Tunica Media / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ultrasonography / instrumentation*