Enhancing vascular imaging with novel ultrasound techniques based on tissue stiffness

Wednesday 5 June 2024, 2:30 pm
PhD candidate
J.T. Pruijssen
prof. dr. ir. C.L. de Korte
dr. ir. H.H.G. Hansen (Maastro), dr. F.H.B.M. Schreuder

Strokes are a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. A significant proportion of strokes results from the rupture of carotid plaques. Surgical removal of these plaques can prevent this complication. However, assessing the rupture risk of a plaque is challenging. Therefore, patients often undergo unnecessary surgery or, conversely, do not undergo necessary surgery. This thesis demonstrates that a new ultrasound technique called “shear wave elastography” (SWE), which enables the assessment of tissue stiffness, could improve the assessment of the plaque’s rupture risk. SWE offers a fast and non-invasive method to assess arterial wall and plaque stiffness. Nevertheless, there is considerable variation in SWE-values among ultrasound machines and with measurement depth, rendering this technique suboptimal. A dedicated vascular SWE-mode, as investigated in this thesis, is promising in minimizing this variation. However, this vascular mode requires further development before it can be applied in clinical practice.

Judith Pruijssen (1995) obtained her medical degree, cum laude, at the University of Amsterdam in 2018. Afterwards, she started her PhD research at the Medical Ultrasound Imaging Center (MUSIC) of the Radboudumc. She currently works as a physician at the Medical Oncology Department and will soon start het residency in internal medicine at the Canisius Wilhelmina Hospital in Nijmegen.