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Ultrasound Med Biol. 2001 Aug;27(8):1115-25.

Contrast-transfer efficiency for continuously varying tissue moduli: simulation and phantom validation.

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  • 1University of Texas Medical School, Department of Radiology, Ultrasonics Laboratory 6431 Fannin St., Houston, TX 77030, USA.


This study consisted of two parts. In the first part, the contrast-transfer efficiency (CTE) in elastography was extended to account for continuous changes of modulus distribution. It was shown that, for a finite size background, the strain contrast approaches the modulus contrast in the case of Gaussian distributions. Thus, an increase in the CTE was obtained. For a fixed background size, it was shown that the CTE increases as the SD of the Gaussian distribution increases. This property was explained by the redistribution of strain concentrations at the inclusion/background interface. In the second part of the study, the CTE was verified experimentally. Six gelatin/agar/water-based phantoms embedding inclusions with modulus contrast varying between +/- 6 dB were manufactured. It was shown that the modulus at the interface inclusion/background was continuous and, in turn, resulted in an increase of the CTE as compared to the known case of a sharp boundary. The continuous inclusion/background interface was explained by the existence of an osmotic pressure gradient.

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