Combined ultrasound, optoacoustic, and elasticity imaging
Photons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing
Combination of three complementary imaging technologies -ultrasound imaging, elastography, and optoacoustic imaging -is suggested for detection and diagnostics of tissue pathology including cancer. The fusion of these ultrasound-based techniques results in a novel imaging system capable of simultaneous imaging of the anatomy (ultrasound imaging), cancer-induced angiogenesis (optoacoustic imaging) and changes in mechanical properties (elasticity imaging) of tissue to uniquely identify and
... ntiate pathology at various stages. To evaluate our approach, analytical and numerical studies were performed using heterogeneous phantoms where ultrasonic, optical and viscoelastic properties of the materials were chosen to closely mimic soft tissue. The results of this study suggest that combined ultrasound-based imaging is possible and can provide more accurate, reliable and earlier detection and diagnosis of tissue pathology. In addition, monitoring of cancer treatment and guidance of tissue biopsy are possible with a combined imaging system. Recent developments in medical ultrasound imaging resulted in realization of new advanced features such as possibility to display tissue images based on distribution of optical absorbers (optoacoustic imaging) and distribution of elastic properties (elasticity imaging). Studies have demonstrated their potential as means to detect and diagnose cancerous tumors in breast and prostate 2-32 . In this paper, we introduce a hybrid imaging technology based on the fusion of three complementary imaging modalities: sonography, optoacoustics, and elastography, to take full advantage of the many synergistic features of these systems and to improve the sensitivity and specificity of cancer imaging.