Characterisation of atherosclerotic plaque by spectral analysis of intravascular ultrasound: an in vitro methodology

Ultrasound Med Biol. 1997;23(2):191-203. doi: 10.1016/s0301-5629(96)00199-8.


Raw 30-MHz intravascular ultrasound data have been captured from postmortem coronary arteries (n = 4) to develop radio frequency analysis techniques for the characterisation of atherosclerotic plaque. Digitised data acquired from positions (n = 8) within diseased sections of artery were compared with the corresponding histology and radiology. Scan-converted images were used to locate regions of interest (ROI = 33) within areas of tissue composition: loose fibrotic tissue (LFT), dense fibrotic tissue (DFT) and calcium (CA). A range of parameters was extracted from the normalised power spectrum of each ROI within the bandwidth 17-42 MHz. Significant discrimination between LFT/DFT and between LFT/CA was provided by maximum power and spectral slope (dBMHz-1). However, the greatest discriminative power was given by the y-axis (0 Hz) intercept of the spectral slope: LFT/DFT (p = 0.001); LFT/CA (p = 0.0001); and DFT/CA (p = 0.089).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / pathology
  • Coronary Vessels / diagnostic imaging*
  • Coronary Vessels / pathology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional*