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Springerplus. 2016 Aug 12;5(1):1341. doi: 10.1186/s40064-016-2937-3. eCollection 2016.

Bias of shear wave elasticity measurements in thin layer samples and a simple correction strategy.

Author information

Department of Orthopedics, The First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Orthopedic Institute, Medical College, Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu People's Republic of China.
Basic Ultrasound Research Laboratory, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN USA.
Biomechanics Laboratory, Division of Orthopedic Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN USA.
Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Laboratory, Division of Orthopedic research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN USA.
Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN USA.
Contributed equally


Shear wave elastography (SWE) is an emerging technique for measuring biological tissue stiffness. However, the application of SWE in thin layer tissues is limited by bias due to the influence of geometry on measured shear wave speed. In this study, we investigated the bias of Young's modulus measured by SWE in thin layer gelatin-agar phantoms, and compared the result with finite element method and Lamb wave model simulation. The result indicated that the Young's modulus measured by SWE decreased continuously when the sample thickness decreased, and this effect was more significant for smaller thickness. We proposed a new empirical formula which can conveniently correct the bias without the need of using complicated mathematical modeling. In summary, we confirmed the nonlinear relation between thickness and Young's modulus measured by SWE in thin layer samples, and offered a simple and practical correction strategy which is convenient for clinicians to use.


Finite element method; Shear wave elastography; Thin layer; Ultrasound

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