Evaluation of harmonic motion elastography and acousto-optic imaging for monitoring lesion formation by high intensity focused ultrasound
Draudt, Andrew Bruce
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Malignant or benign tumors may be ablated with high‐intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU). This technique, known as focused ultrasound surgery (FUS), has been actively investigated for decades, but slow to be implemented and difficult to control due to lack of real‐time feedback during ablation. Two methods of imaging and monitoring HIFU lesions during formation were implemented simultaneously, in order to investigate the efficacy of each and to increase confidence in the detection of the lesion. The first, Acousto‐Optic Imaging (AOI) detects the increasing optical absorption and scattering in the lesion. The intensity of a diffuse optical field in illuminated tissue is mapped at the spatial resolution of an ultrasound focal spot, using the acousto‐optic effect. The second, Harmonic Motion Imaging (HMI), detects the changing stiffness in the lesion. The HIFU beam is modulated to force oscillatory motion in the tissue, and the amplitude of this motion, measured by ultrasound pulse‐echo techniques, is influenced by the stiffness. Experiments were performed on store‐bought chicken breast and freshly slaughtered bovine liver. The AOI results correlated with the onset and relative size of forming lesions much better than prior knowledge of the HIFU power and duration. For HMI, a significant artifact was discovered due to acoustic nonlinearity. The artifact was mitigated by adjusting the phase of the HIFU and imaging pulses. A more detailed model of the HMI process than previously published was made using finite element analysis. The model showed that the amplitude of harmonic motion was primarily affected by increases in acoustic attenuation and stiffness as the lesion formed and the interaction of these effects was complex and often counteracted each other. Further biological variability in tissue properties meant that changes in motion were masked by sample‐to‐sample variation. The HMI experiments predicted lesion formation in only about a quarter of the lesions made. In simultaneous AOI/HMI experiments it appeared that AOI was a more robust method for lesion detection.