Elasticity imaging has emerged as an increasingly popular research and clinical tool for the evaluation of the mechanical properties of tissue in vivo. Using ultrasound and MRI imaging techniques primarily, current applications include imaging the liver, spleen, brain, breast, and thyroid, among other organs, to gain information about normative and disease-related tissue biomechanics that are difficult or impossible to assess using any other technique. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a broad overview of the subject of elasticity imaging. Topics include some of the theoretical considerations of tissue biomechanics that motivated the development of the field, an outline of the various motion sources and imaging techniques used to perform elasticity imaging, and a discussion of some of the most common processing tools used to derive the mechanical properties of tissue from images of tissue motion.
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