Tissue velocity imaging of coronary artery by rotating-type intravascular ultrasound

Yoshifumi Saijo, Akira Tanaka, Naoki Owada, Yoshihisa Akino, Shinichi Nitta

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) provides not only the dimensions of coronary artery but the information of tissue components. In catheterization laboratory, soft and hard plaques are classified by visual inspection of echo intensity. So-called soft plaque contains lipid core or thrombus and it is believed to be more vulnerable than a hard plaque. However, it is not simple to analyze the echo signals quantitatively. When we look at a reflection signal, the intensity is affected by the distance of the object, the medium between transducer and objects and the fluctuation caused by rotation of IVUS probe. The time of flight is also affected by the sound speed of the medium and Doppler shift caused by tissue motion but usually those can be neglected. Thus, the analysis of RF signal in time domain can be more quantitative than intensity of RF signal. In the present study, a novel imaging technique called "intravascular tissue velocity imaging" was developed for searching a vulnerable plaque. Radio-frequency (RF) signal from a clinically used IVUS apparatus was digitized at 500 MSa/s and stored in a workstation. First, non-uniform rotation was corrected by maximizing the correlation coefficient of circumferential RF signal distribution in two consecutive frames. Then, the correlation and displacement were calculated by analyzing the radial difference of RF signal. Tissue velocity was determined by the displacement and the frame rate. The correlation image of normal and atherosclerotic coronary arteries clearly showed the internal and external borders of arterial wall. Soft plaque with low echo area in the intima showed high velocity while the calcified lesion showed the very low tissue velocity. This technique provides important information on tissue character of coronary artery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)753-757
Number of pages5
Issue number1-9
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Apr
EventProceedings of Ultrasonics International 2003 - Granada, Spain
Duration: 2003 Jun 302003 Jul 3


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Coronary artery
  • Intravascular ultrasound
  • Radio-frequency signal


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