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Published March 15, 2016 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Vascular elastic photoacoustic tomography in humans


Quantification of vascular elasticity can help detect thrombosis and prevent life-threatening conditions such as acute myocardial infarction or stroke. Here, we propose vascular elastic photoacoustic tomography (VE-PAT) to measure vascular elasticity in humans. VE-PAT was developed by incorporating a linear-array-based photoacoustic computed tomography system with a customized compression stage. By measuring the deformation of blood vessels under uniaxial loading, VE-PAT was able to quantify the vascular compliance. We first demonstrated the feasibility of VE-PAT in blood vessel phantoms. In large vessel phantoms, VE-PAT detected a decrease in vascular compliance due to simulated thrombosis, which was validated by a standard compression test. In small blood vessel phantoms embedded 3 mm deep in gelatin, VE-PAT detected elasticity changes at depths that are difficult to image using other elasticity imaging techniques. We then applied VE-PAT to assess vascular compliance in a human subject and detected a decrease in vascular compliance when an occlusion occurred downstream from the measurement point, demonstrating the potential of VE-PAT in clinical applications such as detection of deep venous thrombosis.

Additional Information

© 2016 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. We thank Alejandro Garcia-Uribe for his assistance in human experiments and Professor James Ballard for a close reading of this paper. This work was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health Grants DP1 EB016986 (NIH Director's Pioneer Award), R01 CA186567 (NIH Director's Transformative Research Award), and S10 RR026922. L. V. Wang has a financial interest in Endra, Inc., and Microphotoacoustics, Inc., which, however, did not support this work.

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