Ex vivo and in vivo assessment of the non-linearity of elasticity properties of breast tissues for quantitative strain elastography

Takeshi Umemoto, Ei Ueno, Takeshi Matsumura, Makoto Yamakawa, Hiroko Bando, Tsuyoshi Mitake, Tsuyoshi Shiina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to reveal the background to the image variations in strain elastography (strain imaging [SI]) depending on the manner of manipulation (compression magnitude) during elasticity image (EI) acquisition. Thirty patients with 33 breast lesions who had undergone surgery followed by SI assessment in vivo were analyzed. An analytical approach to tissue elasticity based on the stress-elastic modulus (Young's modulus) relationship was adopted. Young's moduli were directly measured ex vivo in surgical specimens ranging from 2.60 kPa (fat) to 16.08 kPa (invasive carcinoma) under the weak-stress condition (<0.2-0.4 kPa, which corresponds to the appropriate "light touch" technique in SI investigation. The contrast (ratio) of lesion to fat in elasticity ex vivo gradually decreased as the stress applied increased (around 1.0 kPa) on the background of significant non-linearity of the breast tissue. Our results indicate that the differences in non-linearity in elasticity between the different tissues within the breast under minimal stress conditions are closely related to the variation in EI quality. The significance of the "pre-load compression" concept in tissue elasticity evaluation is recognized. Non-linearity of elasticity is an essential attribute of living subjects and could provide useful information having a considerable impact on clinical diagnosis in quantitative ultrasound elastography.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1755-1768
Number of pages14
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Aug
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast cancer
  • Elastic modulus (Young's modulus)
  • Elasticity imaging
  • Elastography
  • Non-linearity
  • Pre-load compression
  • Shear wave imaging
  • Strain
  • Strain imaging
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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