Single- and multiple-track-location shear wave and acoustic radiation force impulse imaging: matched comparison of contrast, contrast-to-noise ratio and resolution.
Acoustic radiation force impulse imaging and shear wave elasticity imaging (SWEI) use the dynamic response of tissue to impulsive mechanical stimulus to characterize local elasticity. A variant of conventional, multiple-track-location SWEI, denoted single-track-location SWEI, offers the promise of creating speckle-free shear wave images. This work compares the three imaging modalities using a high push and track beam density combined acquisition sequence to image inclusions of different sizes and contrasts. Single-track-location SWEI is found to have a significantly higher contrast-to-noise ratio than multiple-track-location SWEI, allowing for operation at higher resolution. Acoustic radiation force impulse imaging and single-track-location SWEI perform similarly in the larger inclusions, with single-track-location SWEI providing better visualization of small targets ≤ 2.5 mm in diameter. The processing of each modality introduces different trade-offs between smoothness and resolution of edges and structures; these are discussed in detail.
Hollender, PJ; Rosenzweig, SJ; Nightingale, KR; Trahey, GE
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