Indexed on: 02 Feb '08Published on: 02 Feb '08Published in: IEEE transactions on ultrasonics, ferroelectrics, and frequency control
In elastography, an erroneous strain estimate is obtained when the radial strain and the probing ultrasound beam are not properly aligned: the "strain projection artifact". In practice, an angle between the strain and the ultrasound beam will be present in most of the cases due to inhomogeneities or nonuniform compression. In this study, a theoretical function describing the strain projection artifact is derived as a function of the angle between the radial strain and the ultrasound beam. Two main factors for an angle between strain and ultrasound beam in intravascular elastographic experiments are eccentricity and tilt of the transducer. The theoretical functions describing these errors are corroborated with strain estimates from an experiment with a circular, homogeneous gel-based vessel phantom. Comparison between the theoretical functions and the experimental results reveals that the strain projection artifact is well described by the theoretical findings. As a result, the experimental data can be corrected for this artifact. The corrected elastograms reveal that correct strain estimates are obtained when the eccentricity of the intravascular catheter is less than 63%. An "off-the-wall" device may be required to advance intravascular elastography to in vivo implementation.