Dynamic mechanical response of elastic spherical inclusions to impulsive acoustic radiation force excitation.
Acoustic radiation force impulse imaging has been used clinically to study the dynamic response of lesions relative to their background material to focused, impulsive acoustic radiation force excitations through the generation of dynamic displacement field images. Dynamic displacement data are typically displayed as a set of parametric images, including displacement immediately after excitation, maximum displacement, time to peak displacement, and recovery time from peak displacement. To date, however, no definitive trends have been established between these parametric images and the tissues' mechanical properties. This work demonstrates that displacement magnitude, time to peak displacement, and recovery time are all inversely related to the Young's modulus in homogeneous elastic media. Experimentally, pulse repetition frequency during displacement tracking limits stiffness resolution using the time to peak displacement parameter. The excitation pulse duration also impacts the time to peak parameter, with longer pulses reducing the inertial effects present during impulsive excitations. Material density affects tissue dynamics, but is not expected to play a significant role in biological tissues. The presence of an elastic spherical inclusion in the imaged medium significantly alters the tissue dynamics in response to impulsive, focused acoustic radiation force excitations. Times to peak displacement for excitations within and outside an elastic inclusion are still indicative of local material stiffness; however, recovery times are altered due to the reflection and transmission of shear waves at the inclusion boundaries. These shear wave interactions cause stiffer inclusions to appear to be displaced longer than the more compliant background material. The magnitude of shear waves reflected at elastic lesion boundaries is dependent on the stiffness contrast between the inclusion and the background material, and the stiffness and size of the inclusion dictate when shear wave reflections within the lesion will interfere with one another. Jitter and bias associated with the ultrasonic displacement tracking also impact the estimation of a tissue's dynamic response to acoustic radiation force excitation.
Palmeri, ML; McAleavey, SA; Fong, KL; Trahey, GE; Nightingale, KR
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