Comparison of four different techniques to evaluate the elastic properties of phantom in elastography: is there a gold standard?

2014 Physics in medicine and biology 59;19 (5775-5793)

Elastographic techniques used in addition to imaging techniques (ultrasound, resonance magnetic or optical) provide new clinical information on the pathological state of soft tissues. However, system-dependent variation in elastographic measurements may limit the clinical utility of these measurements by introducing uncertainty into the measurement. This work is aimed at showing differences in the evaluation of the elastic properties of phantoms performed by four different techniques: quasi-static compression, dynamic mechanical analysis, vibration-controlled transient elastography and hyper-frequency viscoelastic spectroscopy. Four Zerdine(R) gel materials were tested and formulated to yield a Young's modulus over the range of normal and cirrhotic liver stiffnesses. The Young's modulus and the shear wave speed obtained with each technique were compared. Results suggest a bias in elastic property measurement which varies with systems and highlight the difficulty in finding a reference method to determine and assess the elastic properties of tissue-mimicking materials. Additional studies are needed to determine the source of this variation, and control for them so that accurate, reproducible reference standards can be made for the absolute measurement of soft tissue elasticity.

Pubmed : 25208061