"A Preliminary Study of Liver Fat Quantification Using Reported Longitudinal Ultrasound Speed of Sound and Attenuation Parameters"

April 1, 2022

A paper co-authored by former PhD student/postdoctoral associate Juvenal Ormachea (currently with Verasonics, Inc.) and Professor Kevin Parker titled "A preliminary study of liver fat quantification using reported longitudinal ultrasound speed of sound and attenuation parameters" has been published in Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology. The abstract follows; more information can be found here.


The quantification of liver fat as a diagnostic assessment of steatosis remains an important priority for non-invasive imaging systems. We derive a framework in which the unknown fat volume percentage can be estimated from a pair of ultrasound measurements. The precise estimation of ultrasound speed of sound and attenuation within the liver is found to be sufficient for estimating fat volume assuming a classic model of the properties of a composite elastic material. In this model, steatosis is represented as a random dispersion of spherical fat vacuoles with acoustic properties similar to those of edible oils. Using values of speed of sound and attenuation from the literature in which normal and steatotic livers were studied near 3.5 MHz, we describe agreement of the new estimation method with independent measures of fat. This framework holds the potential for translation to clinical scanners with which the two ultrasound measurements can be made and used for improved quantitative assessment of steatosis.