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Applying vibration to a medium makes it vibrate. The resulting change in scatterer distribution inside the medium due to applied vibration changes the speckle pattern of ultrasound images. In this case, scatterers in a hard medium experience small displacements, and those in a soft medium experience large displacements. As a result, the amount of speckle pattern brightness change in ultrasound images is related to the tissue stiffness. Using this dependency, a two-dimensional profile of relative tissue stiffness can be constructed qualitatively at the display pixel resolution by determining at each pixel the standard deviation and/or the difference between minimum and maximum values over a certain number of consecutive B-mode images. Experiments with phantoms show that the softer the tissue, the larger the standard deviation. The proposed imaging modality is a simple yet practical method of resolving hard cysts surrounded by soft background in a phantom using B-mode frame data only.
Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:50 , Issue: 4 )
Date of Publication: April 2003