An important characteristic of tissue is its elasticity which changes through pathophysiological processes, in particular, chronic or acute inflammation, malignancy and aging processes all of which can affect the elastic nature of tissues. Therefore the assessment and visualization of tissue elasticity can provide potentially vital information in disease diagnosis.
Real-time Tissue Elastography module uses an Extended Combined Autocorrelation Method (ECAM) to produce an elasticity image in real time. It uses a freehand approach to compress the tissues with the ultrasound transducer - a technique which is easily integrated into the routine ultrasound examination.
Characteristics of amplitudes
Relative tissue elasticity is calculated and displayed as a colour overlay of the conventional B-mode image. Stiffer tissue structures are displayed in blue, while the more easily deformed tissues are in red.
The ECAM elastography algorithm performs a 2D correlation in both axial and lateral directions, overcoming the problem of sideslip and improving the accuracy of the strain image.
Clinical evaluation of the modality has shown that lesions can be characterised more rapidly and with a higher degree of accuracy, when elastography is incorporated into the conventional examination.