Objective: This pilot study determined if the ultrasound texture feature “contrast” was associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors and subclinical arterial disease. Methods: We evaluated ultrasound images of the right common carotid artery (CCA) from a convenience sample of 151 participants and examined relationships between contrast, CVD risk factors, carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and coronary artery calcium (CAC). Grey level difference statistics algorithms were used to evaluate the texture feature “contrast” from carotid ultrasound images. Right CCA IMT measurements were made in triplicate in the distal 1 cm segment of the far wall of the artery and CAC score was measured using the Agatston scoring method. Results: In individual models that included age, sex and race, grey level difference statistics contrast (outcome) was associated independently with age [beta (standard error) = −0.87 (0.38) per year; p = 0.02], C-reactive protein [−2.22 (0.96) per mg dl–1; p = 0.02], high-density lipoprotein cholesterol [0.61 (0.24) per mg dl–1; p = 0.01] and CCA IMT [−0.06 (0.02) microns; p = 0.001]. Other CVD risk factors and CAC were not associated independently with contrast. Conclusion: These findings support the potential use of the ultrasound texture contrast for evaluating arterial injury and CVD risk. Advances in knowledge: This paper contributes to the literature in that it describes how the greyscale texture feature “contrast” is related to CVD risk factors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging