Ultrasonic measurement of breast tissue motion and the implications for velocity estimation

Adel I. El-Fallah, Michelle B. Plantec, Katherine W. Ferrara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


A high-resolution study of breast tissue motion during cardiac systole and respiration is presented. An experimental system was designed to achieve a velocity resolution on the order of 1 mm/s with high spatial resolution. The peak velocity of tissue motion estimated during cardiac systole ranged from 0.2 mm/s to 5.6 mm/s among the subjects studied. It is shown that motion due to the cardiac cycle is less significant when the subject is positioned on the side rather than supine. The mean tissue velocity among subjects in the supine position is 2.88 mm/s and drops to 0.81 mm/s for the side position, with a corresponding spatial displacement of 0.095 mm, dropping to 0.027 mm. The velocity profiles indicate that 100 ms is required for the entire ribcage contraction-relaxation process to occur. Experiments using a prone biopsy table show the almost complete elimination of tissue motion due to cardiac systole, suggesting that the use of the table eliminates this motion, thus allowing for high-resolution blood velocity estimates. Features resulting from respiratory motion are also presented. We found this motion to be of a much longer time duration, and of a much higher magnitude, with velocities as high as 29 mm/s. The implications of the study on the high- resolution estimation of blood velocity and high-resolution breast imaging are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1047-1057
Number of pages11
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast tissue motion
  • Cardiac systole
  • Respiratory motion
  • Ribcage motion
  • Velocity estimation
  • Wideband maximum likelihood estimator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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