Comb-push ultrasound shear elastography (CUSE): A novel method for two-dimensional shear elasticity imaging of soft tissues

Pengfei Song, Heng Zhao, Armando Manduca, Matthew W. Urban, James F. Greenleaf, Shigao Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fast and accurate tissue elasticity imaging is essential in studying dynamic tissue mechanical properties. Various ultrasound shear elasticity imaging techniques have been developed in the last two decades. However, to reconstruct a full field-of-view 2-D shear elasticity map, multiple data acquisitions are typically required. In this paper, a novel shear elasticity imaging technique, comb-push ultrasound shear elastography (CUSE), is introduced in which only one rapid data acquisition (less than 35 ms) is needed to reconstruct a full field-of-view 2-D shear wave speed map (40 38 mm). Multiple unfocused ultrasound beams arranged in a comb pattern (comb-push) are used to generate shear waves. A directional filter is then applied upon the shear wave field to extract the left-to-right (LR) and right-to-left (RL) propagating shear waves. Local shear wave speed is recovered using a time-of-flight method based on both LR and RL waves. Finally, a 2-D shear wave speed map is reconstructed by combining the LR and RL speed maps. Smooth and accurate shear wave speed maps are reconstructed using the proposed CUSE method in two calibrated homogeneous phantoms with different moduli. Inclusion phantom experiments demonstrate that CUSE is capable of providing good contrast (contrast-to-noise ratio ≥ 25 dB) between the inclusion and background without artifacts and is insensitive to inclusion positions. Safety measurements demonstrate that all regulated parameters of the ultrasound output level used in CUSE sequence are well below the FDA limits for diagnostic ultrasound.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6222365
Pages (from-to)1821-1832
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE transactions on medical imaging
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Acoustic radiation force
  • Comb-push
  • Inclusion
  • Ultrasound elastography
  • Unfocused ultrasound beam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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