Strain elastography

Strain elastography (also known as tissue strain elastography/static elastography/compression elastography) is a developing form of ultrasound that assesses tissues' macro structure through the strain modulus. This is different from normal B-mode grayscale ultrasound which characterizes a tissue's elasticity, but at a micro level.

Strain elastography relies on Young's modulus to detect strain in the axial dimension. The characteristics of an ultrasound beam through tissue before and after compression are compared. In some systems, the strain of tissues is measured in a semi-quantitative way, relying on Young's modulus, but not directly calculating it.

Applications of strain 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 strain 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: 32099
Section: Physics
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Tissue strain imaging
  • Static elastography
  • Compression elastography

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