The propagation velocity of shear waves relates to tissue stiffness. We prove that a regular clinical cardiac ultrasound system can determine shear wave velocity with a conventional unmodified tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) application. The investigation was performed on five tissue phantoms with different stiffness using a research platform capable of inducing and tracking shear waves and a clinical cardiac system (Philips iE33, achieving frame rates of 400-700 Hz in TDI by tuning the normal system settings). We also tested the technique in vivo on a normal individual and on typical pathologies modifying the consistency of the left ventricular wall. The research platform scanner was used as reference. Shear wave velocities measured with TDI on the clinical cardiac system were very close to those measured by the research platform scanner. The mean difference between the clinical and research systems was 0.18 ± 0.22 m/s, and the limits of agreement, from -0.27 to +0.63 m/s. In vivo, the velocity of the wave induced by aortic valve closure in the interventricular septum increased in patients with expected increased wall stiffness.

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Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Strachinaru, M., Bosch, H., van Dalen, B., van Gils, L., van der Steen, T., de Jong, N., … Vos, R. (2017). Cardiac Shear Wave Elastography Using a Clinical Ultrasound System. Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology, 43(8), 1596–1606. doi:10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2017.04.012