Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Medical Biophysics


Dr. Grace Parraga


Atherosclerosis is a progressive disease that leads to plaque development and is associated with cardiovascular events such as myocardial infarction and stroke. Several biomarkers have been established as surrogates of plaque development yet none can provide direct, noninvasive, rapid measurements of atherosclerotic disease. Three-dimensional Ultrasound (3DUS) image acquisition is safe, inexpensive and fast, however 3DUS image measurements are limited due to time consuming manual image analyses. In addition, the true clinical meaning of 3DUS carotid imaging measurements has not yet been established. A semi-automated approach for the estimation of 3DUS Total Plaque Volume (TPV) was developed with similar variability and high agreement with manual measurements. 3DUS measurements such as Vessel Wall Volume (VWV) and TPV were shown to have similar associations of plaque and Intima-media Thickness (IMT) with age in males however this relationship did not exist in females. 3DUS measurements of carotid atherosclerosis can provide a more sensitive estimation of disease burden in vulnerable patient populations than traditional measures.