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Abstract

Quantitative ultrasound has been widely used for tissue characterization. In this paper we propose a new approach for tissue compression assessment. The proposed method employs the relation between the tissue scatterers’ local spatial distribution and the resulting frequency power spectrum of the backscattered ultrasonic signal. We show that due to spatial distribution of the scatterers, the power spectrum exhibits characteristic variations. These variations can be extracted using the empirical mode decomposition and analyzed. Validation of our approach is performed by simulations and in-vitro experiments using a tissue sample under compression. The scatterers in the compressed tissue sample approach each other and consequently, the power spectrum of the backscattered signal is modified. We present how to assess this phenomenon with our method. The proposed in this paper approach is general and may provide useful information on tissue scattering properties.
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Abstract

Texture of ultrasound images contain information about the properties of examined tissues. The analysis of statistical properties of backscattered ultrasonic echoes has been recently successfully applied to differentiate healthy breast tissue from the benign and malignant lesions. We propose a novel procedure of tissue characterization based on acquiring backscattered echoes from the heated breast. We have proved that the temperature increase inside the breast modifies the intensity, spectrum of the backscattered signals and the probability density function of envelope samples. We discuss the differences in probability density functions in two types of tissue regions, e.g. cysts and the surrounding glandular tissue regions. Independently, Pennes bioheat equation in heterogeneous breast tissue was used to describe the heating process. We applied the finite element method to solve this equation. Results have been compared with the ultrasonic predictions of the temperature distribution. The results confirm the possibility of distinguishing the differences in thermal and acoustical properties of breast cyst and surrounding glandular tissues.
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