Ultrasound elastography has developed into an imaging modality suitable for detection and diagnosis of cancers in the breast, prostate, and thyroid and for monitoring ablative therapies in the liver, kidneys, and other sites. In this article, a new approach is described that enables the reduction of noise artifacts in elastography without a significant reduction in either the contrast or spatial resolution. The technique uses angular-weighted compounding of local angular strains estimated from echo signals scanned at different insonification angles. Strain estimated along angular insonincation directions can be separated into strain tensor components along the axial (direction of compression) and lateral directions. The mechanical stimulus is applied only along one direction. Angular-weighting factors are derived from the relationship between the axial and lateral strains under the assumption of tissue incompressibility. Experimental results using a uniformly elastic, tissue-mimicking phantom demonstrate the improvement in the signal-tonoise ratio obtained with angular-weighted compounding. Variation in the signal-to-noise ratio obtained using different angular increments also is investigated. Elastograms obtained from an inclusion phantom also demonstrate the improvement in contrast detail resolution obtained using spatial-angular compounding.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control|
|State||Published - May 2004|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering