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IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control. 2016 Feb;63(2):222-32. doi: 10.1109/TUFFC.2016.2515366.

Phase Aberration and Attenuation Effects on Acoustic Radiation Force-Based Shear Wave Generation.


Elasticity is measured by shear wave elasticity imaging (SWEI) methods using acoustic radiation force to create the shear waves. Phase aberration and tissue attenuation can hamper the generation of shear waves for in vivo applications. In this study, the effects of phase aberration and attenuation in ultrasound focusing for creating shear waves were explored. This includes the effects of phase shifts and amplitude attenuation on shear wave characteristics such as shear wave amplitude, shear wave speed, shear wave center frequency, and bandwidth. Two samples of swine belly tissue were used to create phase aberration and attenuation experimentally. To explore the phase aberration and attenuation effects individually, tissue experiments were complemented with ultrasound beam simulations using fast object-oriented C++ ultrasound simulator (FOCUS) and shear wave simulations using finite-element-model (FEM) analysis. The ultrasound frequency used to generate shear waves was varied from 3.0 to 4.5 MHz. Results: The measured acoustic pressure and resulting shear wave amplitude decreased approximately 40%-90% with the introduction of the tissue samples. Acoustic intensity and shear wave displacement were correlated for both tissue samples, and the resulting Pearson's correlation coefficients were 0.99 and 0.97. Analysis of shear wave generation with tissue samples (phase aberration and attenuation case), measured phase screen, (only phase aberration case), and FOCUS/FEM model (only attenuation case) showed that tissue attenuation affected the shear wave generation more than tissue aberration. Decreasing the ultrasound frequency helped maintain a focused beam for creation of shear waves in the presence of both phase aberration and attenuation.

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