A novel method to enhance contrast and quality of Acoustic Radiation Force based elastography techniques
Elastography imaging techniques have been recently developed to assess the stiffness of tissues. These techniques are being used for detecting malignancies in different tissues such as prostate, breast and liver, and for evaluation of ablation lesions in the heart. In these techniques, an excitation method is used to push the tissue and the resulting tissue displacement is reflective of its stiffness; softer tissue is more easily pushed than stiffer tissue. By pushing in many different locations, an image of the tissue stiffness is built up. Generally, a single point of the time-displacement curve is used to construct the image. This point is chosen based on methods including: maximum displacement, displacement at a fixed post push interval, and time to peak method. It is a great advantage if the image quality can be enhanced while keeping the imaging parameters the same. Duke has demonstrated a novel signal processing method which results in significant increase in contrast to noise ratio (CNR). This method improved the CNR by 61% in phantom images and by 36% in ablation lesions taken in vivo. This technique requires no change in the existing image recording methods.
- ARFI (Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse Imaging)
- Elasticity Imaging
- Increased CNR in detecting malignant lesions in various organs, visualizing ablation therapy in vivo.