Xavier Girerd a,f , Jean-Jacques Mourad a , Christophe Acar c , Didier Heudes b , Stephen Chiche d , Patrick Bruneval b , Jean-Pierre Mignot g , Eliane Billaud e , Michel Safar a,f , Stéphane Laurent e,f
23 September 2008
Recent research in ultrasound technology has led to the development of a high-resolution echo-tracking device. The present study was performed to evaluate the accuracy in the measurement of human radial artery intima-media thickness with this new device. We determined the correlation between histological and ultrasonic measurements of intima-media thickness in 15 radial artery segments obtained from the distal end of the wrist-elbow harvest for coronary bypass grafting in patients with coronary heart disease. For arterial intima-media thickness, a positive correlation was observed between ultrasonic and histological measurements (r = 0.618; p& < 0.014), and the difference between ultrasound and histology measurements was 41 ± 66 µm, with the higher measurements found by the ultrasonic device. In a subgroup of 11 patients, we determined the correlation between in vivo ultrasonic measurements of radial artery intima-media thickness at the preoperative stage and in vitro ultrasonic measurements of intima-media thickness obtained postoperatively in the same arterial segments. Internal diameter was larger in vivo than in vitro, and intima-media thickness was smaller in vivo than in vitro. The cross-sectional area of the arterial wall was calculated from internal diameter and intima-media thickness. In vitro wall cross-sectional area was correlated with in vivo wall cross-sectional area (r = 0.929; p& < 0.0001). Repeatability of in vivo intima-media thickness measurements was investigated in 10 subjects through the calculation of the repeatability coefficient as defined by the British Standards Institution. Intraobserver repeatability coefficient (comparison of two determinations, separated by a 10-min interval, obtained by the same observer) was 48.7 µm. These results indicate that the radial artery intima-media thickness can be accurately measured in humans.