Characterization of tissue elasticity (stiffness) and viscosity has important medical applications because these properties are closely related to pathological changes. Quantitative measurement is more suitable than qualitative measurement (i.e., mapping with a relative scale) of tissue viscoelasticity for diagnosis of diffuse diseases where abnormality is not confined to a local region and there is no normal background tissue to provide contrast. Shearwave dispersion ultrasound vibrometry (SDUV) uses shear wave propagation speed measured in tissue at multiple frequencies (typically in the range of hundreds of Hertz) to solve quantitatively for both tissue elasticity and viscosity. A shear wave is stimulated within the tissue by an ultrasound push beam and monitored by a separate ultrasound detect beam. The phase difference of the shear wave between 2 locations along its propagation path is used to calculate shear wave speed within the tissue. In vitro SDUV measurements along and across bovine striated muscle fibers show results of tissue elasticity and viscosity close to literature values. An intermittent pulse sequence is developed to allow one array transducer for both push and detect function. Feasibility of this pulse sequence is demonstrated by in vivo SDUV measurements in swine liver using a dual transducer prototype simulating the operation of a single array transducer.
Acoustic radiation forces associated with high intensity focused ultrasound stimulate shear wave propagation allowing shear wave speed and shear viscosity estimation of tissue structures. As wave speeds are meters per second, real time displacement tracking over an extend field-of-view using ultrasound is problematic due to very high frame rate requirements. However, two spatially separated dynamic external sources can stimulate shear wave motion leading to shear wave interference patterns. Advantages are shear waves can be imaged at lower frame rates and local interference pattern spatial properties reflect tissue’s viscoelastic properties. Here a theoretical analysis of shear wave interference patterns by means of dynamic acoustic radiation forces is detailed. Using a viscoelastic Green’s function analysis, tissue motion due to a pair of focused ultrasound beams and associated radiation forces are presented. Overall, this paper theoretically demonstrates shear wave interference patterns can be stimulated using dynamic acoustic radiation forces and tracked using conventional ultrasound imaging.
This paper introduces methods to generate crawling wave interference patterns from the displacement fields generated from radiation force pushes on a GE Logiq 9 scanner. The same transducer and system is providing both the pushing pulses to generate the shear waves and the tracking pulses to measure the displacements. Acoustic power and system limitations result in largely impulsive displacement fields. Measured displacements from pushes on either side of a region of interest (ROI) are used to calculate continuously varying interference patterns. This technique is explained along with a brief discussion of the conventional mechanical source-driven crawling waves for comparison. We demonstrate the method on three example cases: a gelatin based phantom with a cylindrical inclusion, an oil-gelatin phantom, and mouse livers. The oil-gelatin phantom and the mouse livers demonstrate not only shear speed estimation, but the frequency dependence of the shear wave speeds.
Crawling wave; Sonoelasticity; Radiation force; Crawling wave movie synthesis; Local shear speed estimation; Shear speed dispersion
Shear wave velocity measurements are used in elasticity imaging to find the shear elasticity and viscosity of tissue. A technique called shear wave dispersion ultrasound vibrometry (SDUV) has been introduced to use the dispersive nature of shear wave velocity to locally estimate the material properties of tissue. Shear waves are created using a multifrequency ultrasound radiation force, and the propagating shear waves are measured a few millimeters away from the excitation point. The shear wave velocity is measured using a repetitive pulse-echo method and Kalman filtering to find the phase of the harmonic shear wave at 2 different locations. A viscoelastic Voigt model and the shear wave velocity measurements at different frequencies are used to find the shear elasticity (μ1) and viscosity (μ2) of the tissue. The purpose of this paper is to report the accuracy of the SDUV method over a range of different values of μ1 and μ2.
A motion detection model of a vibrating scattering medium was used to analyze measurement errors of vibration phase in a scattering medium. To assess the accuracy of the SDUV method, we modeled the effects of phase errors on estimates of shear wave velocity and material properties while varying parameters such as shear stiffness and viscosity, shear wave amplitude, the distance between shear wave measurements (Δr), signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the ultrasound pulse-echo method, and the frequency range of the measurements. We performed an experiment in a section of porcine muscle to evaluate variation of the aforementioned parameters on the estimated shear wave velocity and material property measurements and to validate the error prediction model.
The model showed that errors in the shear wave velocity and material property estimates were minimized by maximizing shear wave amplitude, pulse-echo SNR, Δr, and the bandwidth used for shear wave measurements. The experimental model showed optimum performance could be obtained for Δr = 3-6 mm, SNR ≥35 dB, with a frequency range of 100 to 600 Hz, and with a shear wave amplitude on the order of a few microns down to 0.5 μm. The model provides a basis to explore different parameters related to implementation of the SDUV method. The experiment confirmed conclusions made by the model, and the results can be used for optimization of SDUV.
Spatially modulated ultrasound radiation force (SMURF) imaging is an elastographic technique that involves generating a radiation force beam with a lateral intensity variation of a defined spatial frequency. This results in a shear wave of known wavelength. By using the displacements induced by the shear wave and standard Doppler or speckle-tracking methods, the shear wave frequency, and thus material shear modulus, is estimated. In addition to generating a pushing beam pattern with a specified lateral intensity variation, it is generally desirable to induce larger displacements so that the displacement data signal-to-noise ratio is higher. We provide an analysis of two beam forming methods for generating SMURF in an elastic material: the focal Fraunhofer and intersecting plane wave methods. Both techniques generate beams with a defined spatial frequency. However, as a result of the trade-offs associated with each technique, the peak acoustic intensity outputs in the region of interest differs for the same combinations of parameters (e.g., the focal depth, the width of the area of interest, and ultrasonic attenuation coefficient). Assuming limited transducer drive voltage, we provide a decision plot to determine which of the two techniques yields the greater pushing force for a specific configuration.
The speed at which shear waves propagate in tissue can be used to quantify the shear modulus of the tissue. As many groups have shown, shear waves can be generated within tissues using focused, impulsive, acoustic radiation force excitations, and the resulting displacement response can be ultrasonically tracked through time. The goals of the work herein are two-fold: first, to develop and validate an algorithm to quantify shear wave speed from radiation force-induced, ultrasonically-detected displacement data that is robust in the presence of poor displacement signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and second, to apply this algorithm to in vivo datasets acquired in human volunteers in order to demonstrate the clinical feasibility of using this method to quantify the shear modulus of liver tissue in longitudinal studies. The ultimate clinical application of this work is non-invasive quantification of liver stiffness in the setting of fibrosis and steatosis.
In the proposed algorithm, time to peak (TTP) displacement data in response to impulsive acoustic radiation force outside the region of excitation (ROE) are used to characterize the shear wave speed of a material, which is used to reconstruct the material’s shear modulus. The algorithm is developed and validated using finite element method (FEM) simulations. Using this algorithm on simulated displacement fields, reconstructions for materials with shear moduli (μ) ranging from 1.3–5 kPa are accurate to within 0.3 kPa, while stiffer shear moduli ranging from 10–16 kPa are accurate to within 1.0 kPa. Ultrasonically tracking the displacement data, which introduces jitter in the displacement estimates, does not impede the use of this algorithm to reconstruct accurate shear moduli.
Using in vivo data acquired intercostally in 20 volunteers with body mass indices (BMI) ranging from normal to obese, liver shear moduli have been reconstructed between 0.9 and 3.0 kPa, with an average precision of ±0.4 kPa. These reconstructed liver moduli are consistent with those reported in the literature (μ = 0.75–2.5 kPa) with a similar precision (±0.3 kPa). Repeated intercostal liver shear modulus reconstructions were performed on 9 different days in 2 volunteers over a 105 day period, yielding an average shear modulus of 1.9 ± 0.50 kPa (1.3–2.5 kPa) in the first volunteer, and 1.8 ± 0.4 kPa (1.1–3.0 kPa) in the second volunteer. The simulation and in vivo data to date demonstrate that this method is capable of generating accurate and repeatable liver stiffness measurements and appears promising as a clinical tool for quantifying liver stiffness.
Ultrasound; Ultrasonic Imaging; Shear Wave; Elastography; Liver Fibrosis; Radiation Force; ARFI
Tissue mechanical properties such as elasticity are linked to tissue pathology state. Several groups have proposed shear wave propagation speed to quantify tissue mechanical properties. It is well known that biological tissues are viscoelastic materials; therefore velocity dispersion resulting from material viscoelasticity is expected. A method called Shearwave Dispersion Ultrasound Vibrometry (SDUV) can be used to quantify tissue viscoelasticity by measuring dispersion of shear wave propagation speed. However, there is not a gold standard method for validation. In this study we present an independent validation method of shear elastic modulus estimation by SDUV in 3 gelatin phantoms of differing stiffness. In addition, the indentation measurements are compared to estimates of elasticity derived from shear wave group velocities. The shear elastic moduli from indentation were 1.16, 3.40 and 5.6 kPa for a 7, 10 and 15% gelatin phantom respectively. SDUV measurements were 1.61, 3.57 and 5.37 kPa for the gelatin phantoms respectively. Shear elastic moduli derived from shear wave group velocities were 1.78, 5.2 and 7.18 kPa for the gelatin phantoms respectively. The shear elastic modulus estimated from the SDUV, matched the elastic modulus measured by indentation. On the other hand, shear elastic modulus estimated by group velocity did not agree with indentation test estimations. These results suggest that shear elastic modulus estimation by group velocity will be bias when the medium being investigated is dispersive. Therefore a rheological model should be used in order to estimate mechanical properties of viscoelastic materials.
Indentation; SDUV; elasticity
In this work, we explored the potential of measuring shear wave propagation using optical coherence elastography (OCE) based on a swept-source optical coherence tomography (OCT) system. Shear waves were generated using a 20 MHz piezoelectric transducer (circular element 8.5 mm diameter) transmitting sine-wave bursts of 400 μs, synchronized with the OCT swept source wavelength sweep. The acoustic radiation force (ARF) was applied to two gelatin phantoms (differing in gelatin concentration by weight, 8% vs. 14%). Differential OCT phase maps, measured with and without the ARF, demonstrate microscopic displacement generated by shear wave propagation in these phantoms of different stiffness. We present preliminary results of OCT derived shear wave propagation velocity and modulus, and compare these results to rheometer measurements. The results demonstrate the feasibility of shear wave OCE (SW-OCE) for high-resolution microscopic homogeneous tissue mechanical property characterization.
(170.4500) Optical coherence tomography; (170.6935) Tissue characterization
The use of ultrasonic methods to track the tissue deformation generated by acoustic radiation force is subject to jitter and displacement underestimation errors, with displacement underestimation being primarily caused by lateral and elevation shearing within the point spread function (PSF) of the ultrasonic beam. Models have been developed using finite element methods and Field II, a linear acoustic field simulation package, to study the impact of focal configuration, tracking frequency, and material properties on the accuracy of ultrasonically tracking the tissue deformation generated by acoustic radiation force excitations. These models demonstrate that lateral and elevation shearing underneath the PSF of the tracking beam leads to displacement underestimation in the focal zone. Displacement underestimation can be reduced by using tracking beams that are narrower than the spatial extent of the displacement fields. Displacement underestimation and jitter decrease with time after excitation as shear wave propagation away from the region of excitation reduces shearing in the lateral and elevation dimensions. The use of higher tracking frequencies in broadband transducers, along with 2D focusing in the elevation dimension, will reduce jitter and improve displacement tracking accuracy. Relative displacement underestimation remains constant as a function of applied force, while jitter increases with applied force. Underdeveloped speckle (SNR <1.91) leads to greater levels of jitter and peak displacement underestimation. Axial shearing is minimal over the tracking kernel lengths used in Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse (ARFI) imaging and thus does not impact displacement tracking.
The stiffness of tissue can be quantified by measuring the shear wave speed (SWS) within the medium. Ultrasound is a real-time imaging modality capable of tracking the propagation of shear waves in soft tissue. Time-of-flight (TOF) methods have previously been shown to be effective for quantifying SWS from ultrasonically tracked displacements. However, the application of these methods to in vivo data is challenging due to the presence of additional sources of error, such as physiological motion, or spatial inhomogeneities in tissue. This paper introduces the use of random sample consensus (RANSAC), a model fitting paradigm robust to the presence of gross outlier data, for estimating the SWS from ultrasonically tracked tissue displacements in vivo. SWS reconstruction is posed as a parameter estimation problem, and the RANSAC solution to this problem is described. Simulations using synthetic TOF data show that RANSAC is capable of good stiffness reconstruction accuracy (mean error 0.5 kPa) and precision (standard deviation 0.6 kPa) over a range of shear stiffness (0.6 – 10 kPa) and proportion of inlier data (50 – 95%). As with all TOF SWS estimation methods, the accuracy and precision of the RANSAC reconstructed shear modulus decreases with increasing tissue stiffness. The RANSAC SWS estimator was applied to radiation force induced shear wave data from 123 human patient livers acquired with a modified SONOLINE Antares ultrasound system (Siemens Healthcare, Ultrasound Business Unit, Mountain View, CA, USA) in a clinical setting before liver biopsy was performed. Stiffness measurements were not possible in 19 patients due to the absence of shear wave propagation inside the liver. The mean liver stiffness for the remaining 104 patients ranged from 1.3 – 24.2 kPa, and the proportion of inliers for the successful reconstructions ranged between 42 – 99%. Using RANSAC for SWS estimation improved the diagnostic accuracy of liver stiffness for delineating fibrosis stage when compared to ordinary least squares (OLS) without outlier removal (AUROC = 0.94 for F≥ 3 and AUROC = 0.98 for F= 4). These results show that RANSAC is a suitable method for estimating the SWS from noisy in vivo shear wave displacements tracked by ultrasound.
acoustic radiation force; hepatic fibrosis; shear wave; stiffness; ultrasound
The aim of this publication is to give an answer to the question whether 2D, 3D and 4D sonography of the breast can be replaced by elastography or whether elastography is an adjunct tool to B-mode imaging. The Breast Imaging and Reporting Data System (BI-RADS) ultrasound (US) descriptors of a lesion besides vascularity are based on B-mode imaging. US elastography displays the mechanical tissue properties. This information can be obtained by freehand compression and decompression. Acoustic radiation force impulse imaging (ARFI) produces stress with low-frequency push pulses. Manual compression by the transducer is not necessary. Shear wave elastography (SWE) is the combination of ARFI and the measurement of the consecutive shear wave propagations in the tissue. A quantification of the elasticity in kilopascal (kPa) is offered. Discussing B-mode imaging and elastography combined with the literature, elastography is seen as an addition to B-mode imaging with the potential to increase the specificity of the B-mode imaging-based BI-RADS assessment. In spite of additional elasticity information, the sensitivity remains high. A time-saving diagnostic algorithm for 2D, 3D US and elastography is described. In conclusion, it must be said that elasticity is not a stand-alone US modality able to replace 2D and 3D sonography.
Breast; Ultrasound; Three-dimensional imaging; Elastography; Breast Diseases
Elasticity-based imaging modalities are becoming popular diagnostic tools in clinical practice. Gelatin-based, tissue mimicking phantoms that contain graphite as the acoustic scattering material are commonly used in testing and validating elasticity-imaging methods to quantify tissue stiffness. The gelatin bloom strength and concentration are used to control phantom stiffness. While it is known that graphite concentration can be modulated to control acoustic attenuation, the impact of graphite concentrationon phantom elasticity has not been characterized in these gelatin phantoms. This work investigates the impact of graphite concentration on phantom shear stiffness as characterized by shear-wave speed measurements using impulsive acoustic-radiation-force excitations. Phantom shear-wave speed increased by 0.83 (m/s)/(dB/(cm MHz)) when increasing the attenuation coefficient slope of the phantom material through increasing graphite concentration. Therefore, gelatin-phantom stiffness can be affected by the conventional ways that attenuation is modulated through graphite concentration in these phantoms.
Acoustic radiation force; ARFI; attenuation coefficient slope; elasticity; graphite; phantom; shear wave; stiffness
Acoustic radiation force based elasticity imaging methods are under investigation by many groups. These methods differ from traditional ultrasonic elasticity imaging methods in that they do not require compression of the transducer, and are thus expected to be less operator dependent. Methods have been developed that utilize impulsive (i.e. < 1 ms), harmonic (pulsed), and steady state radiation force excitations. The work discussed herein utilizes impulsive methods, for which two imaging approaches have been pursued: 1) monitoring the tissue response within the radiation force region of excitation (ROE) and generating images of relative differences in tissue stiffness (Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse (ARFI) imaging); and 2) monitoring the speed of shear wave propagation away from the ROE to quantify tissue stiffness (Shear Wave Elasticity Imaging (SWEI)). For these methods, a single ultrasound transducer on a commercial ultrasound system can be used to both generate acoustic radiation force in tissue, and to monitor the tissue displacement response. The response of tissue to this transient excitation is complicated and depends upon tissue geometry, radiation force field geometry, and tissue mechanical and acoustic properties. Higher shear wave speeds and smaller displacements are associated with stiffer tissues, and slower shear wave speeds and larger displacements occur with more compliant tissues. ARFI images have spatial resolution comparable to that of B-mode, often with greater contrast, providing matched, adjunctive information. SWEI images provide quantitative information about the tissue stiffness, typically with lower spatial resolution. A review these methods and examples of clinical applications are presented herein.
Acoustic Radiation Force; Shear Wave Speed; Ultrasound; Elastography; Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse (ARFI) Imaging; Soft Tissue; Viscoelastic Properties
A novel elasticity imaging system founded on the use of acoustic radiation forces from a dual beam arrangement to generate shear wave interference patterns is described. Acquired pulse-echo data and correlation-based techniques were used to estimate the resultant deformation and to visualize tissue viscoelastic response. The use of normal versus axicon focal configurations was investigated for effects on shear wave generation. Theoretical models were introduced and shown in simulation to accurately predict shear wave propagation and interference pattern properties. In a tissue-mimicking phantom, experimental results are in congruence with theoretical predictions. Using dynamic acoustic radiation force excitation, results confirm that shear wave interference patterns can be produced remotely in a particular tissue region of interest (ROI). Overall, preliminary results are encouraging and the system described may prove feasible for interrogating the viscoelastic properties of normal and diseased tissue types.
We present a novel method for ultrasound backscatter image formation wherein lateral resolution of the target is obtained by using traveling shear waves to encode the lateral position of targets in the phase of the received echo. We demonstrate that the phase modulation as a function of shear wavenumber can be expressed in terms of a Fourier transform of the lateral component of the target echogenicity. The inverse transform, obtained by measurements of the phase modulation over a range of shear wave spatial frequencies, yields the lateral scatterer distribution. Range data are recovered from time of flight as in conventional ultrasound, yielding a B-mode-like image. In contrast to conventional ultrasound imaging, where mechanical or electronic focusing is used and lateral resolution is determined by aperture size and wavelength, we demonstrate that lateral resolution using the proposed method is independent of the properties of the aperture. Lateral resolution of the target is achieved using a stationary, unfocused, single-element transducer. We present simulated images of targets of uniform and non-uniform shear modulus. Compounding for speckle reduction is demonstrated. Finally, we demonstrate image formation with an unfocused transducer in gelatin phantoms of uniform shear modulus.
Dynamic Magnetic Resonance Elastography (MRE) quantitatively maps the stiffness of tissues by imaging propagating shear waves in the tissue. These waves can be produced from intrinsic motion sources (e.g., due to cardiac motion), from external motion sources that produce motion directly at depth in tissue (e.g., amplitude-modulated focused ultrasound), and from external actuators that produce motion at the tissue surface that propagates into the tissue. With external actuator setups, typically only a single transducer is used to create the shear waves, which in some applications might have limitations due to shadowing and attenuation of the waves. To address these limitations, a phased-array acoustic driver system capable of applying independently controlled waveforms to each channel was developed and tested. It was found that the system produced much more uniform illumination of the object, improving the quality of the elastogram. It was also found that the accuracy of the stiffness value of any arbitrary region of interest could be improved by obtaining maximal shear wave illumination with the phased array capability of the system.
Magnetic resonance elastography; multiple transducers; shear wave illumination; phased array transducers; tissue stiffness
Shear wave elasticity imaging (SWEI) was employed to track acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) -induced shear waves in the mid-myocardium of the left ventricular free wall (LVFW) of a beating canine heart. Shear waves were generated and tracked with a linear ultrasound transducer that was placed directly on the exposed epicardium. Acquinsition was ECG-gated arid coincided with the mid-diastolic portion of the cardiac cycle. Axial displacement profiles consistent with shear wave propagation were clearly evident in all SWEI acquisitions (i.e., those including an ARFI excitation); displacement data from control cases (i.e., sequences lacking an ARFI excitation) offered no evidence of shear wave propagation and yielded a peak absolute mean displacement below 0.31 μm after motion filtering. Shear wave velocity estimates ranged from 0.82 to 2.65 m/s and were stable across multiple heartbeats for the same interrogation region, with coefficients of variation less than 19% for all matched acquisitions. Variations in velocity estimates suggest a spatial dependence of shear wave velocity through the mid-myocardium of the LVFW, with velocity estimates changing, in limited cases, through depth and lateral position.
Acoustic radiation force; cardiac imaging; myocardium; shear wave velocimetry; ultrasound
A validation study of the Spatially Modulated Ultrasound Radiation Force (SMURF) method for shear modulus estimation is presented. SMURF estimates of uniform gelatin and Zerdine™ phantoms covering a modulus range of 2 to 18 kPa are compared with results obtained by unconfined mechanical compression and sonoelastography. The results show agreement within the measurement uncertainties over the range indicated for all three methods. Repeatability and variation on the order of 5% of the phantom modulus are found for observations made at a single point within the phantom. Averaging of modulus estimates from several adjacent scan lines further decreases the variation. By using multiple radiation force peaks to induce a shear wave of known wavelength and measure the frequency of the wave, SMURF obtains modulus estimates from tracking data acquired along a single A-line. This is significant, as speckle can bias the measured phase of the shear wave. SMURF is shown to be insensitive to a constant phase error in the shear wave measurement. This results in greatly reduced correlated noise in the modulus estimates, in contrast with methods which track at multiple locations and do not cancel phase errors.
Magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) is a noninvasive imaging technique capable of quantifying and spatially resolving the shear stiffness of soft tissues by visualization of synchronized mechanical wave displacement fields. However, MRE inversions generally assume that the measured tissue motion consists primarily of shear waves propagating in a uniform, infinite medium. This assumption is not valid in organs such as the heart, eye, bladder, skin, fascia, bone and spinal cord in which the shear wavelength approaches the geometric dimensions of the object. The aim of this study was to develop and test mathematical inversion algorithms capable of resolving shear stiffness from displacement maps of flexural waves propagating in bounded media such as beams, plates and spherical shells using geometry-specific equations of motion. MRE and finite element modeling (FEM) of beam, plate, and spherical shell phantoms of various geometries were performed. Mechanical testing of the phantoms agreed with the stiffness values obtained from FEM and MRE data and a linear correlation of r2 ≥ 0.99 was observed between the stiffness values obtained using MRE and FEM data. In conclusion, we have demonstrated new inversion methods for calculating shear stiffness that may be more appropriate for waves propagating in bounded media.
MRE Inversions; Bounded media; MRE
Several groups are studying acoustic radiation force and its ability to image the mechanical properties of tissue. Acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) imaging is one modality using standard diagnostic ultrasound scanners to generate localized, impulsive, acoustic radiation forces in tissue. The dynamic response of tissue is measured via conventional ultrasonic speckle-tracking methods and provides information about the mechanical properties of tissue. A finite-element method (FEM) model has been developed that simulates the dynamic response of tissues, with and without spherical inclusions, to an impulsive acoustic radiation force excitation from a linear array transducer. These FEM models were validated with calibrated phantoms. Shear wave speed, and therefore elasticity, dictates tissue relaxation following ARFI excitation, but Poisson’s ratio and density do not significantly alter tissue relaxation rates. Increased acoustic attenuation in tissue increases the relative amount of tissue displacement in the near field compared with the focal depth, but relaxation rates are not altered. Applications of this model include improving image quality, and distilling material and structural information from tissue’s dynamic response to ARFI excitation. Future work on these models includes incorporation of viscous material properties and modeling the ultrasonic tracking of displaced scatterers.
An ultrasound system (GE Logiq 9) was modified to produce a synthetic crawling wave using shear wave displacements generated by the radiation force of focused beams formed at the left and the right edge of the region of interest (ROI). Two types of focusing, normal and axicon, were implemented. Baseband (IQ) data was collected to determine the left and right displacements, which were then used to calculate an interference pattern. By imposing a variable delay between the two pushes, the interference pattern moves across the ROI to produce crawling waves. Also temperature and pressure measurements were made to assess the safety issues. The temperature profiles measured in a veal liver along the focal line showed the maximum temperature rise less than 0.8 °C, and the pressure measurements obtained in degassed water and derated by 0.3 dB/cm/MHz demonstrate that the system can operate within FDA safety guidelines.
Crawling wave; Sonoelasticity; Radiation force; Ultrasonic safety; System modification
Elasticity imaging methods have been used to study tissue mechanical properties and have demonstrated that tissue elasticity changes with disease state. In current shear wave elasticity imaging methods typically only shear wave speed is measured and rheological models, e.g., Kelvin-Voigt, Maxwell and Standard Linear Solid, are used to solve for tissue mechanical properties such as the shear viscoelastic complex modulus. This paper presents a method to quantify viscoelastic material properties in a model-independent way by estimating the complex shear elastic modulus over a wide frequency range using time-dependent creep response induced by acoustic radiation force. This radiation force induced creep (RFIC) method uses a conversion formula that is the analytic solution of a constitutive equation. The proposed method in combination with Shearwave Dispersion Ultrasound Vibrometry (SDUV) is used to measure the complex modulus so that knowledge of the applied radiation force magnitude is not necessary. The conversion formula is shown to be sensitive to sampling frequency and the first reliable measure in time according to numerical simulations using the Kelvin-Voigt model creep strain and compliance. Representative model-free shear complex moduli from homogeneous tissue mimicking phantoms and one excised swine kidney were obtained. This work proposes a novel model-free ultrasound-based elasticity method that does not require a rheological model with associated fitting requirements.
Shearwave Dispersion Ultrasound Vibrometry (SDUV) is used to quantify both tissue shear elasticity and shear viscosity by evaluating dispersion of shear wave propagation speed over a certain bandwidth (50–500 Hz). The motivation for developing elasticity imaging techniques is based on the possibility of diagnosing disease process. However, it is important to study the mechanical properties of healthy tissues; such data can enhance clinical knowledge and improve understanding of the mechanical properties of tissue. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the feasibility of SDUV for in vitro measurements of renal cortex shear elasticity and shear viscosity on healthy swine kidney. A total of eight excised kidneys from female pigs were used in these in vitro experiments, and a battery of different tests were performed to gain insight on the material properties of the renal cortex. From these eight kidneys, the overall renal cortex elasticity and viscosity was 1.81 ± 0.17 kPa and 1.48 ± 0.49 Pa·s, respectively. In an analysis of the material properties over time after excision, there was not a statistically significant difference in shear elasticity over a 24 hour period, but a statistically significant difference in shear viscosity was found. Homogeneity of the renal cortex was examined and it was found that shear elasticity and shear viscosity were statistically different within a kidney, suggesting global tissue inhomogeneity. More than 30% increases in shear elasticity and shear viscosity were observed after immersion in 10% formaldehyde. Lastly, it was found that the renal cortex is rather anisotropic. Two values for shear elasticity and shear viscosity were measured depending on shear wave propagation direction. These various tests elucidated different aspects of the material properties and the structure of the ex vivo renal cortex.
Recent studies have attempted to dispel the idea of the longitudinal mode being the only significant mode of ultrasound energy transport through the skull bone. The inclusion of shear waves in propagation models has been largely ignored because of an assumption that shear mode conversions from the skull interfaces to the surrounding media rendered the resulting acoustic field insignificant in amplitude and overly distorted. Experimental investigations with isotropic phantom materials and ex vivo human skulls demonstrated that, in certain cases, a shear mode propagation scenario not only can be less distorted, but at times allowed for a substantial (as much as 36% of the longitudinal pressure amplitude) transmission of energy. The phase speed of 1.0-MHz shear mode propagation through ex vivo human skull specimens has been measured to be nearly half of that of the longitudinal mode (shear sound speed = 1500±140 m/s, longitudinal sound speed = 2820±40 m/s), demonstrating that a closer match in impedance can be achieved between the skull and surrounding soft tissues with shear mode transmission. By comparing propagation model results with measurements of transcranial ultrasound transmission obtained by a radiation force method, the attenuation coefficient for the longitudinal mode of propagation was determined to between 14 Np/m and 70 Np/m for the frequency range studied while the same for shear waves was found to be between 94 Np/m and 213 Np/m. This study was performed within the frequency range of 0.2–0.9 MHz. (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
ultrasound; skull; shear; longitudinal
The speed of the surface Rayleigh wave, which is related to the viscoelastic properties of the medium, can be measured by noninvasive and noncontact methods. This technique has been applied in biomedical applications such as detecting skin diseases. Static spherical indentation, which quantifies material elasticity through the relationship between loading force and displacement, has been applied in various areas including a number of biomedical applications. This paper compares the results obtained from these two methods on five gelatin phantoms of different concentrations (5%, 7.5%, 10%, 12.5% and 15%). The concentrations are chosen because the elasticity of such gelatin phantoms is close to that of tissue types such as skin. The results show that both the surface wave method and the static spherical indentation method produce the same values for shear elasticity. For example, the shear elasticities measured by the surface wave method are 1.51, 2.75, 5.34, 6.90 and 8.40 kPa on the five phantoms, respectively. In addition, by studying the dispersion curve of the surface wave speed, shear viscosity can be extracted. The measured shear viscosities are 0.00, 0.00, 0.13, 0.39 and 1.22 Pa·s on the five phantoms, respectively. The results also show that the shear elasticity of the gelatin phantoms increases linearly with their prepared concentrations. The linear regressions between concentration and shear elasticity have R2 values larger than 0.98 for both methods.
surface wave; indentation; viscoelasticity; gelatin phantom