Lung US surface wave elastography in interstitial lung disease staging

Boran Zhou, Brian J. Bartholmai, Sanjay Kalra, Thomas G. Osborn, Xiaoming Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Lung US surface wave elastography (SWE) can noninvasively quantify lung surface stiffness or fibrosis by evaluating the rate of surface wave propagation. Purpose: To assess the utility of lung US SWE for evaluation of interstitial lung disease. Materials and Methods: In this prospective study, lung US SWE was used to assess 91 participants (women, 51; men, 40; mean age ± standard deviation [SD], 62.4 years ± 12.9) with interstitial lung disease and 30 healthy subjects (women, 16; men, 14; mean age, 45.4 years ± 14.6) from February 2016 through May 2017. Severity of interstitial lung disease was graded as none (healthy lung [F0]), mild (F1), moderate (F2), or severe (F3) based on pulmonary function tests, high-resolution CT, and clinical assessments. We propagated surface waves on the lung through gentle mechanical excitation of the external chest wall and measured the lung surface wave speed with a US probe. Lung US SWE performance was assessed, and the optimal cutoff wave speed values for fibrosis grades F0 through F3 were determined with receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis. Results: Lung US SWE had a sensitivity of 92% (95% confidence intervals [CI]: 84%, 96%; P < .001) and a specificity of 89% (95% CI: 81%, 94%; P < .001) for differentiating between healthy subjects (F0) and participants with any grade of interstitial lung disease (F1-F3). It had a sensitivity of 50% and a specificity of 81% for differentiating interstitial lung disease grades F0-F2 from F3. The sensitivity was 88% and the specificity was 97% for differentiating between F0 and F1. The highest area under the curve (AUC) values were obtained at 200 Hz and ranged from 0.83 to 0.94 to distinguish between healthy subjects and study Participants with any interstitial lung disease. Conclusion: Lung US surface wave elastography may be adjunct to high-resolution CT for noninvasive evaluation of interstitial lung disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)479-484
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Lung US surface wave elastography in interstitial lung disease staging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this