Shear wave elastography (SWE), a novel ultrasound imaging technique, can provide unique information about cancerous tissue. To estimate elasticity parameters, a region of interest (ROI) is manually positioned over the stiffest part of the shear wave image (SWI). The aim of this work is to estimate the elasticity parameters i.e. mean elasticity, maximal elasticity and standard deviation, fully automatically.
Ultrasonic SWI of a breast elastography phantom and breast tissue in vivo were acquired using the Aixplorer system (SuperSonic Imagine, Aix-en-Provence, France). First, the SWI within the ultrasonic B-mode image was detected using MATLAB then the elasticity values were extracted. The ROI was automatically positioned over the stiffest part of the SWI and the elasticity parameters were calculated. Finally all values were saved in a spreadsheet which also contains the patient's study ID. This spreadsheet is easily available for physicians and clinical staff for further evaluation and so increase efficiency. Therewith the efficiency is increased. This algorithm simplifies the handling, especially for the performance and evaluation of clinical trials. The SWE processing method allows physicians easy access to the elasticity parameters of the examinations from their own and other institutions. This reduces clinical time and effort and simplifies evaluation of data in clinical trials. Furthermore, reproducibility will be improved.