Normal and shear strain estimation using beam steering on linear-array transducers

M. Rao, Q. Chen, H. Shi, T. Varghese, E. L. Madsen, J. A. Zagzebski, T. A. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


In current ultrasound elastography, only the axial component of the displacement vector is estimated and used to produce strain images. A method was recently proposed by our group to estimate both the axial and lateral components of a displacement vector following a uniaxial compression. Previous work evaluated the technique using both simulations and a mechanically translated phased array transducer. In this paper, we present initial results using beam steering on a linear array transducer attached to a commercial scanner to acquire echo signals for estimating 2-D displacement vectors. Single-inclusion and anthropomorphic breast phantoms with different boundary properties between the inclusion and background material are imaged by acquiring echo data along beam lines ranging from -15° to 15° relative to the compression direction. 1-D cross-correlation is used to calculate "angular displacements" in each acquisition direction, yielding axial and lateral components of the displacement vector. Strain tensor components are estimated from these displacements. Features on shear strain images generated for the inclusion phantom agree with those predicted using FEA analysis. Experimental results demonstrate the utility of this technique on clinical scanners. Shear strain tensors obtained using this method may provide useful information for the differentiation of benign from malignant tumors. For the linear array transducer used in this study, the optimum angular increment is around 3°. However, more work is required for the selection of an appropriate value for the maximum beam angle for optimal performance of this technique. (E-mail:

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-66
Number of pages10
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by NIH grant R21 EB003853 and R01EB000459. The authors thank Dr. Laurent Pelissier for the loan of the Ultrasonix 500 RP system used on this research.


  • Elasticity
  • Elasticity imaging
  • Elastogram
  • Elastography
  • Shear strain
  • Stiffness
  • Strain
  • Strain tensors
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biophysics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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