Currently, pulse wave velocity (PWV) is an important physical index for characterizing the mechanical properties of arteries. Carotid-femoral PWV (cfPWV) is a clinically-approved parameter for evaluating the cardiovascular risk and therapeutic efficacy. However, cfPWV only provides global information about vessel properties. Many recent studies have indicated that local PWV measurements provide precise evaluation of artery conditions. Here, an ultrasound (US) method based on a novel vessel displacement waveform correction, is proposed for improving the accuracy of local carotid PWV measurement. A programmable US device and a commercial array transducer were used, which allow a user to excite transducer and receive US signals arbitrarily with different beam settings. The local PWV measurement accuracy was verified using a phantom. The number of US beams used for PWV measurements was also considered, which indicates that eight elements is the acceptable setting. Subsequently, local carotid PWV and cfPWV were measured in 35 healthy human subjects (age: 21.9 ± 2.4 years) by using the US method and SphygmoCor device, respectively. The cfPWV and local carotid PWV were 6.65 ± 0.74 and 4.63 ± 0.57 m/s, respectively. A good linear correlation was observed between the two aforementioned methods (r = 0.8) for the subjects. All the results indicated that when few US beams were used, the proposed method exhibited a reliable measurement of local PWV.
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