Non-invasive measurement of pulsatile vessel diameter change and elastic properties in human arteries: a methodological study

Clin Physiol. 1993 Nov;13(6):631-43. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-097x.1993.tb00478.x.


A recently developed ultrasound phase-locked echo-tracking system makes it possible to measure non-invasive pulsatile vessel diameter changes, and, in combination with blood-pressure measurement, to calculate pressure strain elastic modulus (Ep) and stiffness (beta). The reproducibility in measurements of pulsatile diameter changes with this system was evaluated. Also the precision of indirect blood-pressure measurements, as compared to the simultaneously measured intra-arterial blood pressure was tested. The resulting reproducibility in pressure strain elastic modulus (Ep) and stiffness (beta) was evaluated. Intra-observer variabilities in measuring pulsatile diameter changes were 16% for the abdominal aorta, 10% for the common carotid artery, and 15% for the common femoral artery, respectively. Intra-observer variabilities for Ep and beta were 21% for both in the abdominal aorta, 17% for both in the common carotid artery, and 18% for both in the common femoral artery, respectively. There were only small differences in indirect and direct measurement of systolic blood pressure, whereas indirect blood pressure measurement systematically overestimated the diastolic blood pressure, on average by 20%. The variabilities in indirect blood pressure measurements were 2% for the systolic and 3% for the diastolic blood pressure, respectively. Inter-observer variability in the investigation of the common carotid artery was 10% for the pulsatile diameter changes, and 21% and 23% for Ep and beta, respectively. Thus, the echo-tracking system represents a reliable system for estimation of pressure strain elastic modulus and stiffness. However, Ep and beta are systematically underestimated by 25-30%, when used in combination with indirect blood pressure measurements.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aorta, Abdominal / anatomy & histology
  • Aorta, Abdominal / diagnostic imaging
  • Aorta, Abdominal / physiology
  • Arteries / anatomy & histology
  • Arteries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Arteries / physiology
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Carotid Artery, Common / anatomy & histology
  • Carotid Artery, Common / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Artery, Common / physiology
  • Elasticity
  • Female
  • Femoral Artery / anatomy & histology
  • Femoral Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Femoral Artery / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ultrasonography / instrumentation
  • Ultrasonography / methods*