Researchers from the Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY USA have developed an algorithm that makes use of the elasticity properties of tissues to characterize malignant tumors. They use an ultrasound device and they process the radiofrequency data to reconstruct the linear and non-linear elasticity properties of tissue, by calculating the displacement within the tissue and mapping the spatial distribution with the material properties that would give that displacement. In order to measure the non-elasticity properties, the tissue needs to be deformed up to 20%, which limits the areas of application of this technology. Currently, they are investigating atherosclerosis disease and skin cancer, besides breast.
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The Nov. 30 release by the RSNA that highlights research indicating the potential of elastography to reduce the number of breast biopsies, might be an indication that this technique is ready for clinical routine.

At A Glance
# Elastography can help distinguish cancerous from benign breast lesions.
# Elastography has the potential to reduce unnecessary breast biopsies.
# Currently, 80 percent of breast biopsies yield benign results.

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