Document Type

Theses, Ph.D


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Publication Details

Successfully submitted for the award of PhD.


Currently the diagnostic methods used to detect cardiovascular disease largely rely on the inference of the presence of arterial stenosis. There is a clinical interest in the development of a diagnostic screening technique which can indicate the risk of developing cardiovascular disease at an early stage so that non-surgical treatments can be applied. The goal of this work was to develop and validate a diagnostic screening technique for cardiovascular disease using the mechanical biomarker wall shear stress. Improvements in wall shear stress measurements were made by using a 2D Fourier transform to extract additional spectral information from the ultrasound pulse and decrease the spectral variance by integrating across the bandwidth of transmitted frequencies. This technique was validated for a series of anatomically realistic flow phantoms which precisely mimicked the progression of wall stiffening that characterises cardiovascular disease. The newly developed spectral analysis technique demonstrated a higher diagnostic performance than the other techniques tested, both in terms of a greater degree of significance in detecting differences in vessel wall stiffness and in terms of the sensitivity and specificity of the technique. The technique could not be tested in pulsatile flow due to hardware limitations, but preliminary testing indicated that the increased performance of the technique would likely transfer to a physiological flow regime. The results of this work indicated that the algorithm had the potential to rival the diagnostic power of the current gold standard while being applicable at an earlier stage of cardiovascular disease.