Large-Strain 3-D in Vivo Breast Ultrasound Strain Elastography Using a Multi-compression Strategy and a Whole-Breast Scanning System.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering


Non-linear mechanical properties of breast tissue can be employed to diagnose and differentiate breast tumors. To obtain such non-linear mechanical properties, it is necessary to track tissue motion under large deformation. In this study, a multi-compression strategy was utilized to produce large tissue deformation, and a method to estimate 3-D motion of tissue under large deformation was introduced. Given multiple volumes of ultrasound data, the proposed method first estimates volume-to-volume incremental displacements using a 3-D region-growing motion-tracking method. Then, possible outliers among all incremental displacements are removed to avoid error accumulation. Once large displacement errors have been removed, all incremental displacements are registered together to obtain accumulated displacements under large tissue deformation (e.g., >10%). The proposed method was tested with one set of in vivo tumor-bearing ultrasound data acquired from a human subject. A total of 10 small-strain deformation steps were performed to obtain the final accumulated displacement field, in which the breast lesion and its surrounding were deformed by approximately 6% and 16%, respectively. The contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the elasticity images obtained with the proposed method were all higher than those obtained with a 2-D tracking method. Furthermore, in three orthogonal views of accumulated axial strain images, the breast lesion was clearly visible with good correspondence between the axial strain and B-mode images.

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Copyright © 2019 World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology. All rights reserved. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2019.08.013

Publication Title

Ultrasound in medicine & biology