A finite element model of remote palpation of breast lesions using radiation force: factors affecting tissue displacement.
The early detection of breast cancer reduces patient mortality. The most common method of breast cancer detection is palpation. However, lesions that lie deep within the breast are difficult to palpate when they are small. Thus, a method of remote palpation, which may allow the detection of small lesions lying deep within the breast, is currently under investigation. In this method, acoustic radiation force is used to apply localized forces within tissue (to tissue volumes on the order of 2 mm3) and the resulting tissue displacements are mapped using ultrasonic correlation based methods. A volume of tissue that is stiffer than the surrounding medium (i.e., a lesion) distributes the force throughout the tissue beneath it, resulting in larger regions of displacement, and smaller maximum displacements. The resulting displacement maps may be used to image tissue stiffness. A finite-element-model (FEM) of acoustic remote palpation is presented in this paper. Using this model, a parametric analysis of the affect of varying tissue and acoustic beam characteristics on radiation force induced tissue displacements is performed. The results are used to evaluate the potential of acoustic remote palpation to provide useful diagnostic information in a clinical setting. The potential for using a single diagnostic transducer to both generate radiation force and track the resulting displacements is investigated.
Nightingale, KR; Nightingale, RW; Palmeri, ML; Trahey, GE
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