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Monitoring of thermal therapy based on shear modulus changes: I. shear wave thermometry

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3 Author(s)
Arnal, Bastien ; Inst. Langevin, Univ. Paris 7, Paris, France ; Pernot, M. ; Tanter, M.

The clinical applicability of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) for noninvasive therapy is today hampered by the lack of robust and real-time monitoring of tissue damage during treatment. The goal of this study is to show that the estimation of local tissue elasticity from shear wave imaging (SWI) can lead to the 2-D mapping of temperature changes during HIFU treatments. This new concept of shear wave thermometry is experimentally implemented here using conventional ultrasonic imaging probes. HIFU treatment and monitoring were, respectively, performed using a confocal setup consisting of a 2.5-MHz single-element transducer focused at 30 mm on ex vivo samples and an 8-MHz ultrasound diagnostic probe. Thermocouple measurements and ultrasound-based thermometry were used as a gold standard technique and were combined with SWI on the same device. The SWI sequences consisted of 2 successive shear waves induced at different lateral positions. Each wave was created using 100-μs pushing beams at 3 depths. The shear wave propagation was acquired at 17 000 frames/s, from which the elasticity map was recovered. HIFU sonications were interleaved with fast imaging acquisitions, allowing a duty cycle of more than 90%. Elasticity and temperature mapping was achieved every 3 s, leading to realtime monitoring of the treatment. Tissue stiffness was found to decrease in the focal zone for temperatures up to 43°C. Ultrasound-based temperature estimation was highly correlated to stiffness variation maps (r2 = 0.91 to 0.97). A reversible calibration phase of the changes of elasticity with temperature can be made locally using sighting shots. This calibration process allows for the derivation of temperature maps from shear wave imaging. Compared with conventional ultrasound-based approaches, shear wave thermometry is found to be much more robust to motion artifacts.

Published in:

Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:58 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

February 2011

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