Use of shear wave ultrasound vibrometry for detection of simulated esophageal malignancy in ex vivo porcine esophagi

Johnathon M. Aho, Ivan Z. Nenadic, Sara Aristizabal, Dennis A. Wigle, Daniel J. Tschumperlin, Matthew W. Urban

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Esophageal cancer is a malignant neoplasm with poor outcomes. Determination of local disease progression is a major determining factor in treatment modality, radiation dose, radiation field and subsequent surgical therapy. Discrimination of true tumor extent is difficult given the similarity of soft tissues of the malignancy compared to non-malignant tissues using current imaging modalities. Apossible method to discriminate between these tissues maybe to exploit mechanical properties to diagnostic advantage, as malignant tissues tend to be stiffer relative to normal adjacent tissue. Shear waves propagate faster in stiffer tissues relative to softer tissues. This may be measured by using ultrasound based shear wave vibrometry. In this method, acoustic radiation force is used to create a shear wave in the tissue of interest and ultrafast ultrasound imaging is used to track the propagating wave to measure the wave velocity and estimate the shear moduli. In this study we created simulated malignant lesions (1.5 cm length) using radiofrequency ablation in ex vivo esophageal samples with varied progression (partial thickness n = 4, and full thickness n = 5) and used normal regions of the same esophageal specimen as controls. Shear wave vibrometry was used to measure shear wave group velocity and shear wave phase velocity in the ex vivo specimens. These values were used to estimate shear moduli using an elastic shear wave model and elastic and viscoelastic Lamb wave models. Our results show that the group and phase velocities increase due to both full and mucosal ablation, and that discrimination may be provided by higher order analysis using viscoelastic Lamb wave fitting. This technique may have application for determination of extent of early esophageal malignancy and warrants further investigation using in vivo approaches to determine performance compared to current imaging modalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number065002
JournalBiomedical Physics and Engineering Express
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 23 2016


  • Ablation
  • Cancer
  • Esophagus
  • Lamb wave
  • Malignancy
  • Shear wave

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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