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Ultrasound Med Biol. 2003 Oct;29(10):1405-13.

Localized harmonic motion imaging: theory, simulations and experiments.

Author information

1
Department of Radiology-MRI research, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA. elisak@bwh.harvard.edu

Abstract

Several techniques have been developed in an effort to estimate mechanical properties of tissues. These techniques typically estimate static or harmonic motion resulting from an externally or internally applied mechanical stimulus. In this paper, we discuss the advantages of utilizing a new technique that performs radiofrequency (RF) signal tracking to estimate the localized oscillatory motion resulting from the harmonic radiation force produced by two focused ultrasound (US) transducer elements with overlapping beams oscillating at distinct frequencies. Finite-element and Monte-Carlo simulations were performed to characterize the range of oscillatory displacements produced by a harmonic radiation force. In the experimental verification, three transducers were used: two single-element focused transducers and one lead zirconate-titanate (PZT) composite 16-element probe. Four agar gels were utilized to determine the effect of stiffness on the motion amplitude. Estimates of the displacement relative to the initial position (i.e., at the onset of the application of the radiation force) were obtained during the application of the radiation force that oscillated at frequencies ranging between 200 Hz and 800 Hz. In the simulations, the estimated oscillatory displacement spanned from -800 to 600 microm and the frequencies of excitation could easily be estimated from the temporal variation of the displacement. In addition, a frequency upshift (on the order of tens of Hz) was estimated with stiffness increase. Furthermore, an exponential decrease of the displacement amplitude with stiffness was observed at all frequencies investigated. An M-mode version to depict both the spatial and temporal variations of the locally induced displacement was used. In experiments with gels of different stiffness, the resulting amplitude of the harmonic displacement estimated oscillated at the same frequencies and ranged from -300 to 250 microm. An exponential decrease of the displacement amplitude with the gel stiffness was also observed. In tissue experiments, the results showed that the method is feasible in tissues and that focused US surgery (FUS) ablation can be detected. These preliminary results demonstrate the feasibility of imaging localized harmonic motion as induced by an oscillatory US radiation force. Due to the highly localized and harmonic nature of the estimated response, this technique may be proven to be highly suitable for simple and accurate estimation of the elastic modulus variation in tissues due to disease.

PMID:
14597337
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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