Phase Velocity Estimation with Expanded Bandwidth in Viscoelastic Phantoms and Tissues

Piotr Kijanka, Matthew W. Urban

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Ultrasound shear wave elastography (SWE) is a technique used to measure mechanical properties to evaluate healthy and pathological soft tissues. SWE typically employs an acoustic radiation force (ARF) to generate laterally propagating shear waves that are tracked in the spatiotemporal domains, and algorithms are used to estimate the wave velocity. The tissue viscoelasticity is often examined through analyzing the shear wave phase velocity dispersion curves, which is the variation of phase velocity with frequency or wavelength. A number of available methods to estimate dispersion exist, which can differ in resolution and variance. Moreover, most of these techniques reconstruct dispersion curves for a limited frequency band. In this work, we propose a novel method used for dispersion curve calculation. Our unique approach uses a generalized Stockwell transformation combined with a slant frequency-wavenumber analysis (GST-SFK). We tested the GST-SFK method on numerical phantom data generated using a finite-difference-based method in tissue-mimicking viscoelastic media. In addition, we evaluated the method on numerical shear wave motion data with different amounts of white Gaussian noise added. Additionally, we performed tests on data from custom-made tissue-mimicking viscoelastic phantom experiments, ex vivo porcine liver measurements, and in vivo liver tissue experiments. We compared results from our method with two other techniques used for estimating shear wave phase velocity: the two-dimensional Fourier transform (2D-FT) and the eigenvector (EV) method. Tests carried out revealed that the GST-SFK method provides dispersion curve estimates with lower errors over a wider frequency band in comparison to the 2D-FT and EV methods. In addition, the GST-SFK provides expanded bandwidth by a factor of two or more to be used for phase velocity estimation, which is meaningful for a tissue dispersion analysis in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9336708
Pages (from-to)1352-1362
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE transactions on medical imaging
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021


  • Kelvin-Voigt
  • Shear wave elastography (SWE)
  • Stockwell transform
  • acoustic radiation force (ARF)
  • dispersion
  • ex vivo
  • in vivo
  • liver
  • phantom
  • soft tissue
  • ultrasound
  • viscoelastic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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