A comparative study of strain and shear-wave elastography in an elasticity phantom

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OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to assess the diagnostic accuracy of strain and shear-wave elastography for determining targets of varying stiffness in a phantom. The effect of target diameter on elastographic assessments and the effect of depth on shear-wave velocity were also investigated.

MATERIALS AND METHODS. We examined 20 targets of varying diameters (2.5-16.7 mm) and stiffnesses (8, 14, 45, and 80 kPa) with a 4-9-MHz linear-array transducer. Targets were evaluated 10 times with three different methods-shear-wave elastography, strain ratio, and strain histogram analysis-yielding 600 evaluations. AUCs were calculated for data divided between different stiffnesses. A 1.5-6-MHz curved-array transducer was used to assess the effect of depth (3.5 vs 6 cm) on shear-wave elastography in 80 scans. Mixed model analysis was performed to assess the effect of target diameter and depth.

RESULTS. Strain ratio and strain histogram AUCs were higher than the shear-wave velocity AUC (p < 0.001) in data divided as 80 versus 45, 14, and 8 kPa. In data divided as 80 and 45 versus 14 and 8 kPa, the methods were equal (p = 0.959 and p = 1.000, respectively). Strain ratios were superior (p = 0.030), whereas strain histograms were not significantly better (p = 0.083) than shear-wave elastography in data divided as 80, 45, and 14 versus 8 kPa. Target diameter had an effect on all three methods (p = 0.001). Depth had an effect on shear-wave velocity (p = 0.001).

CONCLUSION. The ability to discern different target stiffnesses varies between shear-wave and strain elastography. Target diameter affected all methods. Shear-wave elastography is affected by target depth.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)W236-42
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015

    Research areas

  • Area Under Curve, Elasticity, Elasticity Imaging Techniques, Phantoms, Imaging, Reproducibility of Results, Shear Strength

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