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Curr Med Imaging Rev. 2012 Feb 1;8(1):27-36.

A Review of Shearwave Dispersion Ultrasound Vibrometry (SDUV) and its Applications.

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  • 1Department of Physiology and Biomedical Engineering, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905.


Measurement of tissue elasticity has emerged as an important advance in medical imaging and tissue characterization. However, soft tissue is inherently a viscoelastic material. One way to characterize the viscoelastic material properties of a material is to measure shear wave propagation velocities within the material at different frequencies and use the dispersion of the velocities, or variation with frequency, to solve for the material properties. Shearwave Dispersion Ultrasound Vibrometry (SDUV) is an ultrasound-based technique that uses this feature to characterize the viscoelastic nature of soft tissue. This method has been used to measure the shear elasticity and viscosity in various types of soft tissues including skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle, liver, kidney, prostate, and arterial vessels. This versatile technique provides measurements of viscoelastic material properties with high spatial and temporal resolution, which can be used for assessing these properties in normal and pathologic tissues. The goals of this paper are to 1) give an overview of viscoelasticity and shear wave velocity dispersion, 2) provide a history of the development of the SDUV method, and 3) survey applications for SDUV that have been previously reported.

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