Small arteries can be accurately studied in vivo, using high frequency ultrasound

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We have validated measurements of diameters of the superficial temporal artery and other small arteries in man with a newly developed 20 MHz ultrasound scanner with A, B and M-mode imaging. The diameter of a reference object was 1.202 mm vs. 1.205 mm as measured by stereomicroscopy (nonsignificant). In vitro measurements of porcine carotid arteries could be reproduced with a mean interobserver difference of 0.008 mm, and the repeatability coefficient was 0.04 mm (1.4%). The frontal branch of the human superficial temporal artery (mean 1.24 mm) was measured with intraobserver repeatability coefficients of 0.18 mm (13.8%) to 0.31 mm (23.4%). The interobserver mean difference was 0.01 mm (0.69%) and the interobserver repeatability coefficient was 0.16 mm (11.1%). Pulsatile changes of the cross sectional area of the radial plus the ulnar artery averaged 0.93 mm2 compared to 0.63 mm2 by strain-gauge plethysmography (nonsignificant). Pulsations were 4.6% in the radial artery. We conclude that high frequency ultrasound provides an accurate and reproducible measure of the diameter of small and medium sized human arteries in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
JournalUltrasound in Medicine & Biology
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)717-25
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 1993

    Research areas

  • Arteries, Female, Humans, Male, Observer Variation, Plethysmography, Reproducibility of Results

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