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An adaptive ultrasonic technique for measuring blood vessel diameter and wall thickness is presented. This technique allows one to use a target-specific transmitted waveform/receiver filter to obtain a larger signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in the received signal than conventional techniques. Generally, SNR of a received wave increases as the intensity of the transmit wave increases; however, because of the FDA limitations placed on the amount of transmit energy, it is important to be able to make the most efficient use of the energy that is available to obtain the best possible SNR in the received signal. Adaptive ultrasonic measurement makes the most efficient use of the energy that is available by placing the maximum amount of energy in the largest target scattering mode. This results in more energy backscatter from a given target, which leads to a higher SNR in the received waveform. Computer simulations of adaptive ultrasonic measurement of blood vessel diameter show that for a SNR of 0 dB in the transmitted waveform, the standard deviation of the diameter measurements for a custom-designed transmitted waveform is about two orders of magnitude less than the standard deviation of the diameter measurements using more conventional waveforms. Diameter and wall thickness measurement experiments were performed on a latex tube and a bovine blood vessel using both custom-made and conventionally used transmitted waveforms. Results show that the adaptively designed waveform gives a smaller uncertainty in the measurements. The adaptive ultrasonic blood vessel diameter and wall thickness measuring technique has potential applications in examining vessels which are either too deep inside the body or too small for conventional techniques to be used, because of the low SNR in the received signal.