Measurement of Pulse Propagation Velocity, Distensibility and Strain in an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Mouse Model

* These authors contributed equally
This article has been accepted and is currently in production

Abstract

An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is defined as a localized dilation of the abdominal aorta that exceeds the maximal intraluminal diameter (MILD) by 1.5 times of its original size. Clinical and experimental studies have shown that small aneurysms may rupture, while a subpopulation of large aneurysms may remain stable. Thus, in addition to the measurement of intraluminal diameter of the aorta, knowledge of structural traits of the vessel wall may provide important information to assess the stability of the AAA. Aortic stiffening has recently emerged as a reliable tool to determine early changes in the vascular wall. Pulse propagation velocity (PPV) along with the distensibility and radial strain are highly useful ultrasound-based methods relevant for assessing aortic stiffness. The primary purpose of this protocol is to provide a comprehensive technique for the use of ultrasound imaging system to acquire images and analyze the structural and functional properties of the aorta as determined by MILD, PPV, distensibility and radial strain.