Estimation of Mouse Carotid Arterial Wall Shear Stress Using High-Frequency Ultrasound Imaging

Yu Hsiang Huang, Hsin Huang, Fan E. Mo, Chih Chung Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Wall shear stress (WSS) is a crucial hemodynamic factor that promotes atherosclerosis (plaque) development in arteries; although the relationship between WSS and arterial atherosclerosis has been explored in many animal studies, it is not fully understood. No suitable tool, however, exists for rapidly estimating dynamic WSS in small-animal studies. This study proposes a 40-MHz high-frequency ultrasound (HFUS) imaging system for dynamic WSS estimation based on mouse carotid artery blood flow velocity gradient measurements by vector Doppler imaging (VDI). Aliasing reduces the accuracy of Doppler measurements, which can be prevented by increasing the imaging frame rate. Conventionally, imaging is performed at two tilted angles by alternating between the angles; in the proposed method, the frame rate was doubled by imaging at each tilted angle sequentially and by then temporally aligning the sequences based on pulsatile flow characteristics. Velocity estimation using this method had low errors for both a steady-flow straight-tube and pulsatile flow 60%-stenosis phantom. The method was tested for wild-type (WT) C57BL/6 mice at 16 weeks old and apolipoprotein E knockout (ApoE KO) mice at 16 and 24 weeks old; differences in time-averaged and oscillatory WSS were observed, and histology confirmed that the 24-week ApoE KO mice with the highest oscillatory WSS had the greatest plaque formation. The proposed HFUS WSS imaging method can predict the location and extent of plaque development; thus, this method is useful for small-animal studies investigating the WSS effect on atherosclerotic plaque development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)474-485
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jun 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Instrumentation
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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