Full 2D displacement vector and strain tensor estimation for superficial tissue using beam-steered ultrasound imaging

H.H.G. Hansen, R.G.P. Lopata, T. Idzenga and C.L. de Korte

Physics in Medicine and Biology 2010;55:3201-3218



Ultrasound strain imaging is used to measure local tissue deformations. Usually, only strains along the ultrasound beam are estimated, because those estimates are most precise, due to the availability of phase information. For estimating strain in other directions we propose to steer the ultrasound beam at an angle, which allows estimating different projections of the 2D strain tensor, while phase information remains available. This study investigates beam steering at maximally three different angles to determine the full 2D strain tensor. The method was tested on simulated and experimental data of an inclusion phantom and a vessel phantom. The combination of data from a non-steered acquisition and acquisitions at a large positive and an equally large but negative steering angle enabled the most precise estimation of the strain components. The method outperforms conventional methods that do not use beam steering.