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IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2011 Feb;30(2):295-305. doi: 10.1109/TMI.2010.2076829. Epub 2010 Sep 16.

In vivo quantitative mapping of myocardial stiffening and transmural anisotropy during the cardiac cycle.

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Supersonic Imagine, 13857 Aix en Provence, France.


Shear wave imaging was evaluated for the in vivo assessment of myocardial biomechanical properties on ten open chest sheep. The use of dedicated ultrasonic sequences implemented on a very high frame rate ultrasonic scanner ( > 5000 frames per second) enables the estimation of the quantitative shear modulus of myocardium several times during one cardiac cycle. A 128 element probe remotely generates a shear wave thanks to the radiation force induced by a focused ultrasonic burst. The resulting shear wave propagation is tracked using the same probe by cross-correlating successive ultrasonic images acquired at a very high frame rate. The shear wave speed estimated at each location in the ultrasonic image gives access to the local myocardial stiffness (shear modulus μ). The technique was found to be reproducible (standard deviation ) and able to estimate both systolic and diastolic stiffness on each sheep (respectively μ(dias) ≈ 2 kPa and μ(syst) ≈ 30 kPa). Moreover, the ability of the proposed method to polarize the shear wave generation and propagation along a chosen axis permits the study the local elastic anisotropy of myocardial muscle. As expected, myocardial elastic anisotropy is found to vary with muscle depth. The real time capabilities and potential of Shear Wave Imaging using ultrafast scanners for cardiac applications is finally illustrated by studying the dynamics of this fractional anisotropy during the cardiac cycle.

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