Quasi-static elastography is an ultrasound method which is widely used to assess displacements and strain in tissue by correlating ultrasound data at different levels of deformation. Ultrafast plane-wave imaging allows us to obtain ultrasound data at frame rates over 10 kHz, permitting the quantification and visualization of fast deformations. Currently, mainly three beam-forming strategies are used to reconstruct radio frequency (RF) data from plane-wave acquisitions: delay-and-sum (DaS), and Lu's-fk and Stolt's-fk operating in the temporal-spatial and Fourier spaces, respectively. However, the effect of these strategies on elastography is unknown. This study investigates the effect of these beam-forming strategies on the accuracy of displacement estimation in four transducers (L7-4, 12L4VF, L12-5, MS250) for various reconstruction line densities and apodization/filtering settings. A method was developed to assess the accuracy experimentally using displacement gradients obtained in a rotating phantom. A line density with multiple lines per pitch resulted in increased accuracy compared to one line per pitch for all transducers and strategies. The impact on displacement accuracy of apodization/filtering varied per transducer. Overall, Lu's-fk beam-forming resulted in the most accurate displacement estimates. Although DaS in some cases provided similar results, Lu's-fk is more computationally efficient, leading to the conclusion that Lu's-fk is most optimal for plane wave ultrasound-based elastography.
- lateral displacement
- axial displacement