Shearwave dispersion ultrasound vibrometry (SDUV) for measuring tissue elasticity and viscosity

Shigao Chen, Matthew W. Urban, Cristina Pislaru, Randall Kinnick, Yi Zheng, Aiping Yao, James F. Greenleaf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

371 Scopus citations


Characterization of tissue elasticity (stiffness) and viscosity has important medical applications because these properties are closely related to pathological changes. Quantitative measurement is more suitable than qualitative measurement (i.e., mapping with a relative scale) of tissue viscoelasticity for diagnosis of diffuse diseases where abnormality is not confined to a local region and there is no normal background tissue to provide contrast. Shearwave dispersion ultrasound vibrometry (SDUV) uses shear wave propagation speed measured in tissue at multiple frequencies (typically in the range of hundreds of Hertz) to solve quantitatively for both tissue elasticity and viscosity. A shear wave is stimulated within the tissue by an ultrasound push beam and monitored by a separate ultrasound detect beam. The phase difference of the shear wave between 2 locations along its propagation path is used to calculate shear wave speed within the tissue. In vitro SDUV measurements along and across bovine striated muscle fibers show results of tissue elasticity and viscosity close to literature values. An intermittent pulse sequence is developed to allow one array transducer for both push and detect function. Feasibility of this pulse sequence is demonstrated by in vivo SDUV measurements in swine liver using a dual transducer prototype simulating the operation of a single array transducer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4775264
Pages (from-to)55-62
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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