Evaluating the Benefit of Elevated Acoustic Output in Harmonic Motion Estimation in Ultrasonic Shear Wave Elasticity Imaging.
Harmonic imaging techniques have been applied in ultrasonic elasticity imaging to obtain higher-quality tissue motion tracking data. However, harmonic tracking can be signal-to-noise ratio and penetration depth limited during clinical imaging, resulting in decreased yield of successful shear wave speed measurements. A logical approach is to increase the source pressure, but the in situ pressures used in diagnostic ultrasound have been subject to a de facto upper limit based on the Food and Drug Administration guideline for the mechanical index (MI <1.9). A recent American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine report concluded that an in situ MI up to 4.0 could be warranted without concern for increased risk of cavitation in non-fetal tissues without gas bodies if there were a concurrent clinical benefit. This work evaluates the impact of using an elevated MI in harmonic motion tracking for hepatic shear wave elasticity imaging. The studies indicate that high-MI harmonic tracking increased shear wave speed estimation yield by 27% at a focal depth of 5 cm, with larger yield increase in more difficult-to-image patients. High-MI tracking improved harmonic tracking data quality by increasing the signal-to-noise ratio and decreasing jitter in the tissue motion data. We conclude that there is clinical benefit to use of elevated acoustic output in shear wave tracking, particularly in difficult-to-image patients.
Deng, Y; Palmeri, ML; Rouze, NC; Haystead, CM; Nightingale, KR
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