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It is well-known that changes in the mechanical properties of tissues are correlated with the presence of disease. In the eye, for example, the vitreous body undergoes dramatic changes in mechanical properties during age-related degradation. These changes may play a significant role in the formation of retinal detachment or other vitreoretinal diseases. We previously presented a noninvasive method called kinetic acoustic vitreoretinal examination (KAVE), which may be used to detect these mechanical changes. KAVE uses acoustic radiation force as a means to produce small, localized displacements within the tissues. Returning echoes are processed using ultrasonic motion tracking so that the response of the tissue to the induced force can be evaluated. By repeating this process at a number of locations, images depicting viscoelastic properties of tissues can be formed. Through the combination of appropriate mechanical modeling and signal processing, we are able to generate images of parameters such as relative mass, relative elasticity, and relative viscosity. These parameters are called relative because they depend on the force applied, which is typically unknown. In this paper, we present new force-free images depicting the time constant /spl tau/, the damping ratio /spl xi/, and the natural frequency /spl omega/ of the phantom material. These images are significant in that they lack the artifacts common in the relative property images.
Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:50 , Issue: 6 )
Date of Publication: June 2003