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Kidney Week

Abstract: TH-PO331

A Pilot Study to Measure Distensibility Using Open-Source Software

Session Information

  • Vascular Access - I
    November 07, 2019 | Location: Exhibit Hall, Walter E. Washington Convention Center
    Abstract Time: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Category: Dialysis

  • 704 Dialysis: Vascular Access


  • Yessayan, Lenar Tatios, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
  • Weitzel, William, VA Ann Arbor Health System, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States

Arteriovenous fistulas (AVF) are the preferred access for hemodialysis. Yet, they often fail to mature. Doppler ultrasound has been employed for enhancing the preoperative examination of the patient prior to AVF construction. Blood vessel distensibility may be useful in predicting fistula maturation. This pilot study reports on the feasibility of measuring distensibility using conventional ultrasound data and an open-source ultrasound software program that our group developed based on ultrasound speckle tracking.


Ten patients were enrolled for this study after obtaining informed consent. Demographics and clinical data were collected. Ultrasound scanning of the brachial and radial artery were performed. Conventional digital imaging and communications in medicine (DICOM) format data were collected from the ultrasound exam. The distensibility of arteries were computed from the DICOM data using our open-source software to track the frame to frame displacement of user selected pixels located at the near and far field edge of the vessel wall. Exploratory relationships between baseline brachial and radial artery distensibility and clinical covariates are also reported.


Of the total 10 patients, there were 10 males, 8 had history of diabetes, 9 had hypertension. The mean age was 70.2 ± 5.4 years, BMI 28.0 ± 5.0 kg/m2, systolic pressure 128 ±26 mmHg, diastolic pressure 65 ±8 mmHg. The baseline distensibility of the branchial artery and radial artery were 2.8% ± 1.1% and 1.8% ± 0.8% respectively. Distensibility of both arteries increased with increases in systolic and diastolic blood pressures. Plots of distensibility versus peak systolic velocity and baseline vessel diameter are shown.


This study demonstrates that distensibility measurement using an open-source automated ultrasound software program is feasible.


  • Veterans Affairs Support