Noninvasive assessment of mechanical properties of peripheral arteries

Charles M. Buntin, Frederick H. Silver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


An ultrasound examination was used to noninvasively determine the changes in mechanical properties associated with age for the common carotid, brachial, popliteal, femoral, and tibial arteries. Forty-two normal male subjects, ranging in age from 8 to 60 years of age, were examined. The subjects were placed in one of three age groups: <29 years of age, 29 to 38, and >38. Mechanical properties including percentage variation in diameter, pressure-strain, and circumferential elastic modulus were determined from changes in wall thickness and pulse pressure. Percentage variation in diameter (PVD) was seen to decrease with age for all arteries except the brachial, which remained relatively constant. Pressure-strain (Ep) and circumferential elastic moduli (Eo) were seen to increase with age in all arteries except the brachial, which remained relatively constant. Values of Ep and Eo were normalized into a stiffness index by dividing by the value found for the brachial artery. Stiffness indexes for the common carotid and femoral arteries were observed to increase more rapidly with age than the indexes obtained for the popliteal and tibial arteries. It is proposed that the stiffness index and changes in this parameter that occur with age may be useful in noninvasively assessing the progression of atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)549-566
Number of pages18
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering


  • Mechanical properties
  • Noninvasive
  • Peripheral arteries
  • Ultrasound


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