Shear wave elastography

Shear wave elastography (also known as transient elastography) is a developing form of ultrasound.

The concept is similar to strain elastography, but instead of using transducer pressure to compare a shift in an ultrasound A-line (thereby measuring changes in strain), a higher intensity pulse is transmitted to produce shear waves, which extend laterally from the insonated structure. The shear waves may then be tracked with low intensity pulses to find the shear velocity and this velocity is related to Young's modulus.

Applications of shear wave elastography are currently being developed for:

  • breast ultrasound
  • liver ultrasound
    • detection of small lesions
    • evaluation of diffuse liver disease
  • prostate ultrasound
  • thyroid nodule ultrasound
  • musculoskeletal ultrasound

There may also be some some applications in echocardiography.

The technique is still being developed for clinical use. Currently, there are a number of different ways to perform shear wave elastography and continued improvement in differentiation between lesion and background tissue is necessary for reliable clinical diagnosis.

Ultrasound - general index
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Article Information

rID: 32100
Section: Physics
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Acoustic radiation force imaging (ARFI)
  • Transient elastography

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Cases and Figures

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    Case 1: normal ARFI
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