External vibration multi-directional ultrasound shearwave elastography (EVMUSE): Application in liver fibrosis staging

Heng Zhao, Pengfei Song, Duane D. Meixner, Randall R. Kinnick, Matthew R. Callstrom, William Sanchez, Matthew W. Urban, Armando Manduca, James F. Greenleaf, Shigao Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Shear wave speed can be used to assess tissue elasticity, which is associated with tissue health. Ultrasound shear wave elastography techniques based on measuring the propagation speed of the shear waves induced by acoustic radiation force are becoming promising alternatives to biopsy in liver fibrosis staging. However, shear waves generated by such methods are typically very weak. Therefore, the penetration may become problematic, especially for overweight or obese patients. In this study, we developed a new method called external vibration multi-directional ultrasound shearwave elastography (EVMUSE), in which external vibration from a loudspeaker was used to generate a multi-directional shear wave field. A directional filter was then applied to separate the complex shear wave field into several shear wave fields propagating in different directions. A 2-D shear wave speed map was reconstructed from each individual shear wave field, and a final 2-D shear wave speed map was constructed by compounding these individual wave speed maps. The method was validated using two homogeneous phantoms and one multi-purpose tissue-mimicking phantom. Ten patients undergoing liver magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) were also studied with EVMUSE to compare results between the two methods. Phantom results showed EVMUSE was able to quantify tissue elasticity accurately with good penetration. In vivo EVMUSE results were well correlated with MRE results, indicating the promise of using EVMUSE for liver fibrosis staging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6851155
Pages (from-to)2140-2418
Number of pages279
JournalIEEE transactions on medical imaging
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Directional filter
  • external vibration
  • liver fibrosis
  • magnetic resonance elastography
  • shear wave elastography
  • shear wave speed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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