Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the most prevalent cause of death in the Western World, and their prevalence is only expected to rise. Several screening modalities aim at detecting CVD at the early stages. A common target for early screening is common carotid artery (CCA) stiffness, as reflected in the pulse wave velocity (PWV). For assessing the CCA stiffness using ultrasound (US), one-dimensional (1D) measurements along the CCA axis are typically used, ignoring possible boundary conditions of neck anatomy and the US probe itself. In this study, the effect of stresses and deformations induced by the US probe, and the effect of anatomy surrounding CCA on a simulated 1D stiffness measurement (PWVus) is compared with the ground truth stiffness (PWVgt) in 60 finite-element models (FEM) derived from anatomical computed tomography (CT) scans of ten healthy male volunteers. Based on prior knowledge from the literature, and from results in this study, we conclude that it is safe to approximate arterial stiffness using 1D measurements of compliance or pulse wave velocity, regardless of boundary conditions emerging from the anatomy or from the measurement procedure.

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