This work reports on the application of ultrasound elastography to prostate cancer detection using a high resolution three-dimensional (3D) ultrasound imaging system. The imaging was performed at a relatively high frequency (14 MHz), yielding very fine resolution that is optimal for prostate ultrasound imaging. The fine resolution achieved aids in locating smaller lesions than are normally detectable. Elasticity was measured with a quantitative and automatically controlled "Synthetic Digital Rectal Examination (SDRE)" wherein a smoothly increasing force was applied by injecting water, controlled by an electronic syringe pump, into a latex cover over the transrectal transducer. The lesion identified as stiffened tissue was visually enhanced by colorizing and superimposing it over the conventional B-mode image. Experimental results using a tissue-mimicking phantom demonstrated that the reconstruction accuracy of the I-Beam transducer resulted in less than 15% volumetric error. Thus, this high resolution 3D prostate elastography is possible and may provide reliable and accurate determination of the size and the location of cancers, which may result in improved specificity and sensitivity of cancer detection.
A method is described for repeatably assessing elasticity and 3D extent of suspected prostate cancers. Elasticity is measured by controlled water inflation of a sheath placed over a modified transrectal ultrasound transducer. The benefit of using fluid inflation is that it should be possible to make repeatable, accurate, measurements of elasticity that are of interest in the serial assessment of prostate cancer progression or remission. The second aspect of the work uses auxiliary tracking arrays placed at each end of the central imaging array that allow the transducer to be rotated while simultaneously collected 'tracking' information thus allowing the position of successive image planes to be located with approximately 11% volumetric accuracy in 3D space. In this way, we present a technique for quantifying volumetric extent of suspected cancer in addition to making measures of elastic anomalies.
An intact mouse model of surgically-induced myocardial infarction (MI) caused by permanent occlusion of the Left Anterior Descending (LAD) coronary artery was studied. Normal mice with no occlusion were also studied as controls. For each mouse, contrast enhanced ultrasound images of the heart were acquired in parallel cross-sections perpendicular to the sternum at millimeter increments. For accurate 3D reconstruction, ECG gating and a tri-axial adjustable micromanipulator were used for temporal and spatial registration. Ultrasound images at steady-state of blood refilling were color-coded in each slice to show relative perfusion. Myocardial perfusion defects and necrosis were also examined postmortem by staining with Phthalo blue and TTC red dyes. Good correlation (R>0.93) in perfused area size was observed between in vivo measurements and histological staining. A 3D multi-slice model and a 3D rendering of perfusion distribution were created and showed a promising match with postmortem results, lending further credence to its use as a more comprehensive and more reliable tool for in vivo assessment of myocardial perfusion than 2D tomographic analysis.
Noninvasive approaches for measuring anatomical and physiological changes resulting from myocardial ischemia / reperfusion injury in the mouse heart have significant value since the mouse provides a practical, low-cost model for modeling human heart disease. In this work, perfusion was assessed before, during and after an induced closed- chest, coronary ischemic event. Ultrasound contrast agent, similar to MP1950, in a saline suspension, was injected via cannulated carotid artery as a bolus and imaged using a Siemens Sequoia 512 scanner and a 15L8 intraoperative transducer operating in second harmonic imaging mode. Image sequences were transferred from the scanner to a PC for analysis. Regions of interest were defined in septal and anterior segments of the myocardium. During the ischemic event, when perfusion was diminished in the anterior segment, mean video intensity in the affected segment was reduced by one half. Furthermore, following reperfusion, hyperemia (enhanced blood flow) was observed in the anterior segment. Specifically, the mean video intensity in the affected segment was increased by approximately 50% over the original baseline level prior to ischemia. Following the approach of Kaul et al., , gamma variate curves were fitted to the time varying level of mean video intensity. This foundation suggests the possibility of quantifying myocardial blood flow in ischemic regions of a mouse heart using automated analysis of contrast image data sets. An improved approach to perfusion assessment using the destruction-reperfusion approach  is also presented.