A New Method for Estimating the Effective Poisson’s Ratio in Ultrasound Poroelastography
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Ultrasound poroelastography aims at assessing the poroelastic behavior of biological tissues via estimation of the local temporal axial strains and effective Poisson's ratios (EPR). Currently, reliable estimation of EPR using ultrasound is a challenging task due to the limited quality of lateral strain estimation. In this paper, we propose a new two-step EPR estimation technique based on dynamic programming elastography (DPE) and Horn-Schunck (HS) optical flow estimation. In the proposed method, DPE is used to estimate the integer axial and lateral displacements while HS is used to obtain subsample axial and lateral displacements from the motion-compensated pre-compressed and post-compressed radio frequency data. Axial and lateral strains are then calculated using Kalman filter-based least square estimation. The proposed two-step technique was tested using finite-element simulations, controlled experiments and in vivo experiments, and its performance was statistically compared with that of analytic minimization (AM) and correlation-based method (CM). Our results indicate that our technique provides EPR elastograms of higher quality and accuracy than those produced by AM and CM. Regarding signal-to-noise ratio and elastographic contrast-to-noise ratio, in simulated data, the proposed method provides an average improvement of 30% and 75%, respectively, with respect to AM and of 100% and 169%, respectively, with respect to CM, whereas, in experiments, the proposed approach provides an average improvement of 30% and 67% with respect to AM and of 230% and 525% with respect to CM. Based on these results, the proposed method may be the preferred one in experimental poroelastography applications.
author list (cited authors)
Islam, T., Chaudhry, A., Tang, S., Tasciotti, E., & Righetti, R.