Shear Wave Speed Estimation Using Reverberant Shear Wave Fields: Implementation and Feasibility Studies

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Ormachea J.
Castaneda B.
Parker K.J.
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Elsevier USA
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Elastography is a modality that estimates tissue stiffness and, thus, provides useful information for clinical diagnosis. Attention has focused on the measurement of shear wave propagation; however, many methods assume shear wave propagation is unidirectional and aligned with the lateral imaging direction. Any deviations from the assumed propagation result in biased estimates of shear wave speed. To address these challenges, directional filters have been applied to isolate shear waves with different propagation directions. Recently, a new method was proposed for tissue stiffness estimation involving creation of a reverberant shear wave field propagating in all directions within the medium. These reverberant conditions lead to simple solutions, facile implementation and rapid viscoelasticity estimation of local tissue. In this work, this new approach based on reverberant shear waves was evaluated and compared with another well-known elastography technique using two calibrated elastic and viscoelastic phantoms. Additionally, the clinical feasibility of this technique was analyzed by assessing shear wave speed in human liver and breast tissues, in vivo. The results indicate that it is possible to estimate the viscoelastic properties in each scanned medium. Moreover, a better approach to estimation of shear wave speed was obtained when only the phase information was taken from the reverberant waves, which is equivalent to setting all magnitudes within the bandpass equal to unity: an idealization of a perfectly isotropic reverberant shear wave field. © 2018 World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology
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Ultrasound, Elastography, Reverberant fields, Shear wave speed estimators, Shear waves, Tissue stiffness