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Noninvasive Ultrasonic Measurement of Dynamic Properties of Heart and Arteries

Features and Uniqueness
  • Complexity of the cardiac contraction sequence is still not fully understood because the dynamic mechanical excitation process, which directly correlates with contraction, cannot be accurately measured by CT, MRI, SPECT, or conventional ultrasound. By developing a noninvasive novel imaging modality with high temporal and spatial resolutions (US patent 5840028), we have detected the minute mechanical response (velocity component) to the propagation of the action potential in the human heart or to detect the propagation of the vibrations along the heart wall caused by the valve closure (Fig. 2).
  • By applying the same procedure to the human arteries, the regional change in wall thickness caused during one cardiac cycle can be measured with high spatial resolution (Fig. 1). From the measurement, the regional elasticity of tissue surrounding atherosclerotic plaque can be determined. By comparing the pathological findings with the distribution of elasticity, elasticity of lipid and that of fibrous tissue were determined. Thus, each point inside the plaque is classified into lipid or fibrous tissue using transcutaneous ultrasound (Fig. 3).
Practical Application

This novel method offers potential as a diagnostic technique for detection of plaque vulnerability with high spatial resolution.
We are prepared to provide academic consultations to companies interested in our research.



Graduate School of Engineering

Hiroshi Kanai, Professor