A novel, custom software has been developed that detects reflected displacement waves, which are caused during Acoustic Radiation Force (ARF) ultrasound imaging, for visualization via parametric images. Acoustic Radiation Force (ARF) ultrasound imaging exploits the mechanical properties of tissues to differentiate tissue structure and composition. Each ARF excitation induces displacement wave reflections at mechanical impedance interfaces within the tissue. The analysis of the presence and velocity of these reflected displacement waves could provide more information about the mechanical properties of the tissue beyond that which is available with conventional ARF ultrasound imaging. This could have particularly important implications for identifying patients with high cardiovascular risk. This software could provide accurate and reproducible detection and characterization of changes occurring in atherosclerosis, such as identifying lipid-rich or necrotic plaque regions, and other plaque components with disparate mechanical properties. This technology has been successfully applied in vivo and ex vivo with porcine iliac arteries.
• Simple, rapid, and computer-assisted method for characterizing mechanical properties of tissues
• Potential to increase prognostic power of conventional cardiovascular risk factor analysis
• Can be performed as an adjuvant to conventional ARFI imaging