Two-dimensional shear-wave elastography on conventional ultrasound scanners with time-aligned sequential tracking (TAST) and comb-push ultrasound shear elastography (CUSE)

Pengfei Song, Michael Macdonald, Russell Behler, Justin Lanning, Michael Wang, Matthew Urban, Armando Manduca, Heng Zhao, Matthew Callstrom, Azra Alizad, James Greenleaf, Shigao Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Two-dimensional shear-wave elastography presents 2-D quantitative shear elasticity maps of tissue, which are clinically useful for both focal lesion detection and diffuse disease diagnosis. Realization of 2-D shear-wave elastography on conventional ultrasound scanners, however, is challenging because of the low tracking pulse-repetition-frequency (PRF) of these systems. Although some clinical and research platforms support software beamforming and plane-wave imaging with high PRF, the majority of current clinical ultrasound systems do not have the software beamforming capability, which presents a critical challenge for translating the 2-D shear-wave elastography technique from laboratory to clinical scanners. To address this challenge, this paper presents a time-aligned sequential tracking (TAST) method for shear-wave tracking on conventional ultrasound scanners. TAST takes advantage of the parallel beamforming capability of conventional systems and realizes high-PRF shear-wave tracking by sequentially firing tracking vectors and aligning shear wave data in the temporal direction. The comb-push ultrasound shear elastography (CUSE) technique was used to simultaneously produce multiple shear wave sources within the field-of-view (FOV) to enhance shear wave SNR and facilitate robust reconstructions of 2-D elasticity maps. TAST and CUSE were realized on a conventional ultrasound scanner. A phantom study showed that the shear-wave speed measurements from the conventional ultrasound scanner were in good agreement with the values measured from other 2-D shear wave imaging technologies. An inclusion phantom study showed that the conventional ultrasound scanner had comparable performance to a state-of-the-art shear-wave imaging system in terms of bias and precision in measuring different sized inclusions. Finally, in vivo case analysis of a breast with a malignant mass, and a liver from a healthy subject demonstrated the feasibility of using the conventional ultrasound scanner for in vivo 2-D shear-wave elastography. These promising results indicate that the proposed technique can enable the implementation of 2-D shear-wave elastography on conventional ultrasound scanners and potentially facilitate wider clinical applications with shear-wave elastography.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7024978
Pages (from-to)290-302
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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