Elastography or elasticity imaging is a field of medical imaging that is aimed at quantifying the mechanical properties of living tissues. Fibrosis results from an increase in collagen replacing the normal tissue, which makes the organ stiffer than when the healthy functional units are present. Palpation has several disadvantages, including its subjectivity, dependence on the proficiency of the examiner, reproducibility, and insensitivity to deep structures. Elastography offers an approach for noninvasive, reproducible, objective, and high resolution characterization of the mechanical properties of tissues. This chapter focuses on ultrasound‐based methods. It highlights the magnetic resonance elastography results in certain application areas. Liver fibrosis and steatosis have been the target diseases for many shear wave elastography studies. Breast and thyroid cancer diagnosis and differentiation have been the application areas for strain‐based and, more recently, shear wave elastography methods. Ultrasound of the musculoskeletal system has been growing progressively.
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