Comparison of sound speed measurements on two different ultrasound tomography devices

Mark Sak, Neb Duric, Peter Littrup, Lisa Bey-Knight, Mark Sherman, Gretchen Gierach, Antonina Malyarenko

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


Ultrasound tomography (UST) employs sound waves to produce three-dimensional images of breast tissue and precisely measures the attenuation of sound speed secondary to breast tissue composition. High breast density is a strong breast cancer risk factor and sound speed is directly proportional to breast density. UST provides a quantitative measure of breast density based on three-dimensional imaging without compression, thereby overcoming the shortcomings of many other imaging modalities. The quantitative nature of the UST breast density measures are tied to an external standard, so sound speed measurement in breast tissue should be independent of specific hardware. The work presented here compares breast sound speed measurement obtained with two different UST devices. The Computerized Ultrasound Risk Evaluation (CURE) system located at the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, Michigan was recently replaced with the SoftVue ultrasound tomographic device. Ongoing clinical trials have used images generated from both sets of hardware, so maintaining consistency in sound speed measurements is important. During an overlap period when both systems were in the same exam room, a total of 12 patients had one or both of their breasts imaged on both systems on the same day. There were 22 sound speed scans analyzed from each system and the average breast sound speeds were compared. Images were either reconstructed using saved raw data (for both CURE and SoftVue) or were created during the image acquisition (saved in DICOM format for SoftVue scans only). The sound speed measurements from each system were strongly and positively correlated with each other. The average difference in sound speed between the two sets of data was on the order of 1-2 m/s and this result was not statistically significant. The only sets of images that showed a statistical difference were the DICOM images created during the SoftVue scan compared to the SoftVue images reconstructed from the raw data. However, the discrepancy between the sound speed values could be easily handled by uniformly increasing the DICOM sound speed by approximately 0.5 m/s. These results suggest that there is no fundamental difference in sound speed measurement for the two systems and support combining data generated with these instruments in future studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2014
Subtitle of host publicationUltrasonic Imaging and Tomography
ISBN (Print)9780819498335
StatePublished - 2014
EventMedical Imaging 2014: Ultrasonic Imaging and Tomography - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 18 2014Feb 20 2014

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherMedical Imaging 2014: Ultrasonic Imaging and Tomography
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Breast density
  • Hardware correlation
  • Sound speed
  • Ultrasound tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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