Abdominal Radiology

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 773–785 | Cite as

Principles of ultrasound elastography

  • Arinc Ozturk
  • Joseph R. Grajo
  • Manish Dhyani
  • Brian W. Anthony
  • Anthony E. Samir
Invited article


Tissue stiffness has long been known to be a biomarker of tissue pathology. Ultrasound elastography measures tissue mechanical properties by monitoring the response of tissue to acoustic energy. Different elastographic techniques have been applied to many different tissues and diseases. Depending on the pathology, patient-based factors, and ultrasound operator-based factors, these techniques vary in accuracy and reliability. In this review, we discuss the physical principles of ultrasound elastography, discuss differences between different ultrasound elastographic techniques, and review the advantages and disadvantages of these techniques in clinical practice.


Ultrasound Elastography Shear wave Strain 



This work was supported by the NIBIB of the National Institutes of Health under award numbers HHSN268201300071 C and K23 EB020710. The authors are solely responsible for the content and the work does not represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Compliance with ethical standards


Anthony E. Samir’s effort was funded by the NIBIB of the National Institutes of Health under award numbers HHSN268201300071 C and K23 EB020710.

Conflict of Interest

Anthony E. Samir has received research grants or support from Supersonic Imagine, General Electric, Philips, Toshiba Medical Systems, Hitachi Medical Systems, and Siemens Healthineers. He has also received speaker honoraria from Supersonic Imagine and General Electric and has received consulting fees in related domains from General Electric, Pfizer, Novartis, Bristol Myers Squibb, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, and Parexel. He is a member of the Quantitative Imaging Biomarkers Alliance (QIBA) clinical ultrasound elastography Task Force and is imaging co-chair of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health Noninvasive Biomarkers of Metabolic Liver Disease (NIMBLE) Biomarkers consortium. He declares no conflict of interest between these various roles and the content of this paper.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arinc Ozturk
    • 1
  • Joseph R. Grajo
    • 2
  • Manish Dhyani
    • 1
  • Brian W. Anthony
    • 3
  • Anthony E. Samir
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Ultrasound Research & Translation, Department of RadiologyMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Radiology, Division of Abdominal ImagingUniversity of Florida College of MedicineGainesvilleUSA
  3. 3.Device Realization and Computational Instrumentation Laboratory, Department of Mechanical EngineeringMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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