Quantitative assessment of mechanical properties of biological soft tissues is frequently evaluated using a noninvasive modality, called ultrasound shear wave elastography (SWE). SWE typically exerts an acoustic radiation force (ARF) to produce shear waves propagating in the lateral direction for which velocities and attenuations are measured. The tissue viscoelasticity is commonly studied by investigating the shear wave phase velocity curves. Viscoelastic tissue properties can also be characterized through utilizing various shear wave attenuation techniques. In this study, we propose an improved method for measuring the shear wave attenuation, called two-point frequency shift power (2P-FSP), which is an improved version of the two-point frequency shift (2P-FS) method. The technique is fully data driven and does not use a rheological model for mathematical modeling. The 2P-FSP method utilizes the power spectra frequency shift of shear waves measured at two spatial positions, which provides robustness to noise. The conceptual basis for the 2P-FSP is provided and tested with numerical and experimental data. We investigated how the location of the first signal and the distance interval between the two locations influence the shear wave attenuation measurement in the 2P-FSP technique. We utilized the 2P-FSP method on numerical phantom data generated using a finite-difference-based method in tissue-mimicking viscoelastic media. Moreover, we tested the 2P-FSP method with data from custom-made tissue-mimicking viscoelastic phantom experiments, and ex vivo porcine liver. We compared results from the proposed technique with results from 2P-FS and analytical values in the case of simulations. The results showed that the 2P-FSP method provides improved results over the 2P-FS technique for lower signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and locations farther from the push location considered, and can be used to measure attenuation of viscoelastic soft tissues.
- Acoustic radiation force (ARF)
- Finite difference
- Frequency shift (FS)
- Shear wave elastography (SWE)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics