"Comprehensive Viscoelastic Characterization of Tissues and the Inter-relationship of Shear Wave (Group and Phase) Velocity, Attenuation and Dispersion"

December 1, 2020

A paper co-authored by postdoctoral associate Dr. Juvenal Ormachea and Professor Kevin Parker titled "Comprehensive viscoelastic characterization of tissues and the inter-relationship of shear wave (group and phase) velocity, attenuation and dispersion" has been published in the December 2020 issue of Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology. The abstract follows; more information can be found here

Abstract: We report shear wave phase and group velocity, dispersion and attenuation in oil-in-gelatin viscoelastic phantoms and in vivo liver data. Moreover, we measured the power law coefficient from each dispersion curve and used it, together with the shear wave velocity, to calculate an approximate value for attenuation that agrees with independent attenuation measurements. Results in phantoms exhibit good agreement for all parameters with respect to independent mechanical measurements. For in vivo data, the livers of 20 patients were scanned. Results were compared with pathology scores obtained from liver biopsies. Across these cases, increases in shear wave dispersion and attenuation were related to increased steatosis score. It was found that shear wave dispersion and attenuation are experimentally linked, consistent with simple predictions based on the rheology of tissues, and can be used individually or jointly to assess tissue viscosity. Thus, this study indicates the possible utility of using shear wave dispersion and attenuation to non-invasively and quantitatively assess steatosis.