1 Department of Clinical Medicine, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 unknown3 Department of Clinical Medicine, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet
Compared with single 2-D images, emerging 3-D ultrasound technologies hold the promise of reducing variability and increasing sensitivity in the quantification of carotid plaques for individual cardiovascular risk stratification. Inter- and intra-observer agreement between a manual, cross-sectional, 2-D freehand sweep and a mechanical 3-D ultrasound investigation of 62 carotid artery plaques is reported with intra-class correlation coefficients (with 95% confidence intervals). Inter-observer agreement was 0.60 (0.29-0.77) for the freehand method and 0.89 (0.83-0.93) for the mechanical 3-D acquisition. The use of semi-automated computerized planimetric measurements of plaque burden has high intra-observer repeatability, but is vulnerable to systematic inter-observer differences. For the 2-D freehand sweep, a considerable contribution to variation is introduced by the scanning procedure itself, that is, the lack of controlled motion along the third dimension. Future implementation of 3-D ultrasound quantification in large-scale studies of inter-individual cardiovascular risk assessment seems justified using the methods described.
Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology, 2014, Vol 40, Issue 7, p. 1641-1649