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Journal Articles Physics in Medicine and Biology Year : 2017

Robust sound speed estimation for ultrasound-based hepatic steatosis assessment

Abstract

Hepatic steatosis is a common condition, the prevalence of which is increasing along with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Currently, the most accurate noninvasive imaging method for diagnosing and quantifying hepatic steatosis is MRI, which estimates the Proton-Density Fat Fraction (PDFF) as a measure of fractional fat content. However, MRI suffers several limitations including cost, contra-indications and poor availability. Although conventional ultrasound is widely used by radiologists for hepatic steatosis assessment, it remains qualitative and operator dependent. Interestingly, the speed of sound within soft tissues is known to vary slightly from muscle (1.575 mm.µs-1) to fat (1.450 mm.µs-1). Building upon this fact, steatosis could affect liver sound speed when the fat content increases. The main objectives of this study are to propose a robust method for sound speed estimation (SSE) locally in the liver and to assess its accuracy for steatosis detection and staging. This technique was first validated on two phantoms and SSE was assessed with a precision of 0.006 and 0.003 mm.µs-1 respectively for the two phantoms. Then a preliminary clinical trial (N = 17 patients) was performed. SSE results was found to be highly correlated with MRI Proton Density Fat Fraction (R 2 =0.69) and biopsy (AUROC = 0.952) results. This new method based on the assessment of spatio-temporal properties of the local speckle noise for SSE provides an efficient way to diagnose and stage hepatic steatosis.
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hal-04060918 , version 1 (06-04-2023)

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Marion Imbault, Alex Faccinetto, Bruno-Félix Osmanski, Antoine Tissier, Thomas Deffieux, et al.. Robust sound speed estimation for ultrasound-based hepatic steatosis assessment. Physics in Medicine and Biology, 2017, 62, pp.3582 - 3598. ⟨10.1088/1361-6560/aa6226⟩. ⟨hal-04060918⟩
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