Utilization of acoustic streaming to classify breast lesions in vivo
Results from a clinical study in which Streaming Detection was used to successfully differentiate fluid-filled lesions (cysts) from solid lesions in the breast are presented. Streaming Detection is an ultrasonic technique in which high intensity ultrasound pulses are used to induce acoustic streaming in cyst fluid, and this motion is detected using flow estimation methods. In fourteen of fifteen simple cysts acoustic streaming was generated and detected. Evidence of nonlinear enhancement of acoustic streaming was observed in several cysts. Streaming Detection was also performed on fourteen sonographically indeterminate breast lesions. Acoustic streaming was generated and detected in four of these lesions, each of which were relatively small (average size of 0.4×0.5 cm). It seems that Streaming Detection is particularly suited for diagnosis of small, possibly newer cysts which may appear indeterminate on conventional sonography due to their small size. These results indicate that Streaming Detection would be a useful adjunct to conventional sonography for the purpose of breast lesion classification.