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MeSH D054459

Elastography is a medical imaging modality that maps the elastic properties of soft tissue. This modality emerged in the last decade. It includes Ultrasound Elasticity Imaging, Magnetic Resonance Elasticity Imaging and Tactile Imaging.

Ultrasound Elasticity Imaging[edit]

Ultrasound elasticity imaging can be subdivided into strain and shear wave elasticity imaging.

Transient elastography[edit]

Transient elastography is a 1D medical imaging modality based on mechanical tissue excitation and ultrasound measurements. Transient elastography uses a special probe that consists of an ultrasound transducer array mounted on the axis of a motor vibrator. The vibrator generates shear wave within the tissue, which is detected by pulse-wave ultrasound imaging in a manner similar to M-mode Doppler imaging.[1] It is used for liver assessment,[2] for example, to diagnose cirrhosis.

Strain Imaging[edit]

Ultrasound Elasticity Imaging is used for breast examination with a number of high-resolution linear transducers.[3] A large multi-center breast imaging study has demonstrated both reproducibility [4] and significant improvement in the classification[5] of breast lesions when shear wave elastography images are added to the interpretation of standard B-mode and Color mode ultrasound images.

Acoustic Radiation Force[edit]

Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse (ARFI) Imaging is another imaging modality being researched to non-invasively characterize liver stiffness.[7][8][9] The key difference from transient elastography is that ARFI makes use of ultrasound beams to push the target tissue (called pushing beams), in additional to the conventional ultrasound beams for imaging (called tracking beams).[10]

Supersonic Shear Imaging[edit]

SuperSonic Imagine Real-Time ShearWave(TM) Elastography[11][12] has demonstrated clinical benefit in breast, thyroid, liver, prostate and MSK imaging.

Magnetic Resonance Elasticity Imaging[edit]

Magnetic Resonance Elastography allows measurement of the propagation of shear waves in tissue using magnetic resonance imaging.[13][14]

Tactile Imaging[edit]

Tactile Imaging is a medical imaging modality that translates the sense of touch into a digital image. Tactile Imaging is used for imaging of the prostate,[15] breast,[16] vagina and pelvic floor support structures,[17] and myofascial trigger points in muscle.[18]


  1. ^ Gomez-Dominguez E, E Chanteloup, J Vergniol, L Castéra, B Le Bail, X Adhoute, J Bertet, P Couzigou, V de Lédinghen (2006). "Diagnosis of cirrhosis by transient elastography (FibroScan): a prospective study". Aliment Pharmacol Ther 24 (3): 513–518. doi:10.1136/gut.2005.069153. PMID 16886917. 
  2. ^ Ganne-Carrié N, Ziol M, de Ledinghen V et al. (2006). "Accuracy of liver stiffness measurement for the diagnosis of cirrhosis in patients with chronic liver diseases". Hepatology 44 (6): 1511–7. doi:10.1002/hep.21420. PMID 17133503. 
  3. ^ Mendelson EB, Chen J, Karstaedt P. Assessing tissue stiffness may boost breast imaging specificity. Diagnostic Imaging. 2009;31(12):15-17.
  4. ^ Shear wave elastography for breast masses is highly reproducible. Cosgrove DO, Berg WA, Doré CJ, Skyba DM, Henry JP, Gay J, Cohen-Bacrie C; the BE1 Study Group. Eur Radiol. 2011 Dec 31.
  5. ^ Shear-wave Elastography Improves the Specificity of Breast US: The BE1 Multinational Study of 939 Masses. Berg WA, Cosgrove DO, Doré CJ, Schäfer FKW, Svensson WE, Hooley RJ, Ohlinger R, Mendelson EB, Balu-Maestro C, Locatelli M, Tourasse C, Cavanaugh BC, Juhan V, Stavros AT, Tardivon A, Gay J, Henry JP, Cohen-Bacrie C, and the BE1 Investigators. Radiology 2012;262:435-449
  6. ^ http://www.lp-it.de/LP-IT-publications.php3
  7. ^ Palmeri, ML; Wang, MH; Dahl, JJ; Frinkley, KD; Nightingale, KR (2008). "Quantifying Hepatic Shear Modulus In Vivo Using Acoustic Radiation Force". Ultrasound in medicine & biology 34 (4): 546–58. doi:10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2007.10.009. PMC 2362504. PMID 18222031. 
  8. ^ http://kathynightingalelab.pratt.duke.edu/research/liver_fibrosis
  9. ^ http://radiology.rsna.org/content/256/2/640.abstract
  10. ^ Nightingale, K; Soo, MS; Nightingale, R; Trahey, G (2002). "Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse Imaging: In Vivo Demonstration of Clinical Feasibility". Ultrasound in medicine & biology. 
  11. ^ Supersonic Shear Imaging: A New Technique for Soft Tissue Elasticity Mapping. Bercoff J. et al., IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control, Vol. 51, No. 4, April 2004.
  12. ^ Acoustoelasticity in soft solids: Assessment of the nonlinear shear modulus with the acoustic radiation force, J.-L. Gennisson,a M. Rénier, S. Catheline, C. Barrière, J. Bercoff, M. Tanter, and M. Fink, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 122 [1]6, December 2007
  13. ^ Muthupillai R, Lomas DJ, Rossman PJ, et al. Magnetic resonance elastography by direct visualization of propagating acoustic strain waves. Science 1995; 269: 1854-7.[49, 219, 220].
  14. ^ Manduca A, Oliphant TE, Dresner MA, et al. Magnetic resonance elastography: Non-invasive mapping of tissue elasticity. Med Image Anal 2001; 5: 237-54.
  15. ^ Weiss RE, Egorov V, Ayrapetyan S, Sarvazyan N, Sarvazyan A. Prostate mechanical imaging: a new method for prostate assessment. Urology 2008; 71(3):425-429.
  16. ^ Egorov V, Sarvazyan AP. Mechanical Imaging of the Breast. IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging 2008; 27(9):1275-87.
  17. ^ Egorov V, van Raalte H, Sarvazyan A. Vaginal Tactile Imaging. IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering 2010; 57(7):1736-44.
  18. ^ Turo D, Otto P, Egorov V, Sarvazyan A, Gerber LH, Sikdar S. Elastography and tactile imaging for mechanical characterization of superficial muscles. J Acoust Soc Am 2012; 132(3):1983.

Cespedes, E.I. Elastography: Imaging of Biological Tissue Elasticity. Ph.D. Dissertation. University of Houston, Houston, TX. December 1993.

See also[edit]