Update on breast cancer detection using comb-push ultrasound shear elastography

Max Denis, Mahdi Bayat, Mohammad Mehrmohammadi, Adriana Gregory, Pengfei Song, Dana H. Whaley, Sandhya Pruthi, Shigao Chen, Mostafa Fatemi, Azra Alizad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this work, tissue stiffness estimates are used to differentiate between benign and malignant breast masses in a group of pre-biopsy patients. The rationale is that breast masses are often stiffer than healthy tissue; furthermore, malignant masses are stiffer than benign masses. The comb-push ultrasound shear elastography (CUSE) method is used to noninvasively assess a tissue's mechanical properties. CUSE utilizes a sequence of simultaneous multiple laterally spaced acoustic radiation force (ARF) excitations and detection to reconstruct the region of interest (ROI) shear wave speed map, from which a tissue stiffness property can be quantified. In this study, the tissue stiffnesses of 73 breast masses were interrogated. The mean shear wave speeds for benign masses (3.42 ± 1.32 m/s) were lower than malignant breast masses (6.04 ± 1.25 m/s). These speed values correspond to higher stiffness in malignant breast masses (114.9 ± 40.6 kPa) than benign masses (39.4 ± 28.1 kPa and p < 0.001), when tissue elasticity is quantified by Young's modulus. A Young's modulus >83 kPa is established as a cut-off value for differentiating between malignant and benign suspicious breast masses, with a receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) of 89.19% sensitivity, 88.69% specificity, and 0.911 for the area under the curve (AUC).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7272463
Pages (from-to)1644-1650
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Acoustics
  • Breast cancer
  • Elasticity
  • Imaging
  • Ultrasonic imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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