Measurement and use of acoustic nonlinearity and sound speed to estimate composition of excised livers

C. M. Sehgal, G. M. Brown, R. C. Bahn, J. F. Greenleaf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Scopus citations


The acoustic nonlinearity parameter B A and sound speed c have been determined for excised normal and abnormal human livers at 20-37°C. These values are compared with analytic measurements of fat and water content of tissues. The results show that normal liver containing 71.0% water and 2.9% fat by weight has a B A value of 6.75 and sound speed of 1592 m/s at 37°C. Both these parameters increase at an average rate of 0.026°C and 1.5m/s/°C, respectively, as the temperature is raised from 20 to 37°C. Fatty liver (24% fat by weight) exhibits highest B A (9.12) and lowest c (1522 m/s) of all the livers studied. In contrast to normal livers sound speed in such a liver was found to decrease with temperature. Based on the acoustic and composition measurements, quantitative correlations of B A and c with fat-water composition have been developed. Inversion of these relationships provide a simple method to determine composition of a tissue sample from B A and c measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)865-874
Number of pages10
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1986


  • Acoustic nonlinearity
  • B A
  • Fat-water composition
  • Human liver
  • Sound speed
  • Tissue characterization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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