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Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering
SJR: 0.26 SNIP: 0.375 CiteScore™: 1.4

ISSN Druckformat: 0278-940X
ISSN Online: 1943-619X

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Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevBiomedEng.2013006991
pages 1-19

Ultrasound Elastography: Principles, Techniques, and Clinical Applications

Ryan J. DeWall
Departments of Radiology and Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1122-Y1 WIMR, 1111 Highland Ave, Madison, WI 53705


Ultrasound elastography is an emerging set of imaging modalities used to image tissue elasticity and are often referred to as virtual palpation. These techniques have proven effective in detecting and assessing many different pathologies, because tissue mechanical changes often correlate with tissue pathological changes. This article reviews the principles of ultrasound elastography, many of the ultrasound-based techniques, and popular clinical applications. Originally, elastography was a technique that imaged tissue strain by comparing pre- and postcompression ultrasound images. However, new techniques have been developed that use different excitation methods such as external vibration or acoustic radiation force. Some techniques track transient phenomena such as shear waves to quantitatively measure tissue elasticity. Clinical use of elastography is increasing, with applications including lesion detection and classification, fibrosis staging, treatment monitoring, vascular imaging, and musculoskeletal applications.

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