View anatomy differently with Elastography imaging from Ultrasonix

With some of the first real-time applications developed on the Ultrasonix research platform, Elastography imaging is paving the way towards better diagnosis of tumours and lesions, with encouraging advances in breast imaging and endocrinology.  This is an optional module available on any Ultrasonix system.

 

Clinical application of Elastography

Many diseases cause changes in the mechanical properties of tissues.  These changes cannot be directly measured by popular imaging devices such as computed tomography (CT), traditional ultrasound (US) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Elastography is a strain imaging technique that has been well established in research literature as a promising technology to identify tissue stiffness of an abnormal growth.   To acquire an elastography image, the ultrasound technician takes a regular ultrasound image and then pushes on the tissue with the ultrasound transducer to take a compression image.  Normal tissue and benign tumors are typically elastic or soft and will compress easily whereas malignant tumors does not depress at all. 

Technical background

In real-time Elastography,  RF frames are acquired continuously and elastograms are generated in real-time by estimating the strain between sequential frames similarly to static methods. Fast algorithms are necessary in this kind of imaging. Strains between frames are small, thus the sensitivity of the algorithms is also very important.

 

  Compression Shearwave

Output

Relative Stiffness

Absolute Stiffness

Frame rate

Up to 30 FPS

Up to 2 FPS

Energy in patient

Low/Negligible

High – frame rate slowed

 

Freehand Elastography Imaging offers real-time feedback of tissue stiffness

Elastography ultrasound image

The Ultrasonix Elastography module uses fast and sensitive algorithms to generate images showing tissue stiffness by measuring strain distributions in tissues in response to external compression.  Strain ratio measurements are used to quantify the relative stiffness between the lesion and surrounding tissue.

 

 

Elastography custom threshold
Custom Thresholds

Color threshold control will help isolate tissue structures. This is done by confining the color map as seen on the vertical bar above.


 

2D color maps of elastography
2D Color Maps

Another quality assurance feature, this mode will overlay (absent) areas in the raw ultrasound image to the elastography image. This will provide you more information to locally confirm your results.


 

Custom color maps of Elastography
Custom Color Maps

To help visualize areas of interest, the color map can be customized to various configurations.


 

Get the best image with the Elastography Quality Feedback Indicator from Ultrasonix

Elastrography ultrasound quality image indicator - good      Elastrography ultrasound quality image indicator - better

To help the operator acquire the best possible image, Ultrasonix has designed a real-time feedback indicator that tells the operator when the correct amount of compression or relaxation is being applied to the area being scanned.  The system displays more or less green as the operator applies pressure during scanning.

 

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