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Title: Efficient numerical methods for ultrasound elastography
Author: Squires, Timothy Richard
ISNI:       0000 0004 2745 1100
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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In this thesis, two algorithms are introduced for use in ultrasound elastography. Ultrasound elastography is a technique developed in the last 20 years by which anomalous regions in soft tissue are located and diagnosed without the need for biopsy. Due to this, the relativity cheap cost of ultrasound imaging and the high level of accuracy in the methods, ultrasound elastography methods have shown great potential for the diagnosis of cancer in soft tissues. The algorithms introduced in this thesis represent an advance in this field. The first algorithm is a two-step iteration procedure consisting of two minimization problems - displacement estimation and elastic parameter calculation that allow for diagnosis of any anomalous regions within soft tissue. The algorithm represents an improvement on existing methods in several ways. A weighting factor is introduced for each different point in the tissue dependent on the confidence in the accuracy of the data at that point, an exponential substitution is made for the elasticity modulus, an adjoint method is used for efficient calculation of the gradient vector and a total variation regularization technique is used. Most importantly, an adaptive mesh refinement strategy is introduced that allows highly efficient calculation of the elasticity distribution of the tissue though using a number of degrees of freedom several orders lower than methods that use a uniform mesh refinement strategy. Results are presented that show the algorithm is robust even in the presence of significant noise and that it can locate a tumour of 4mm in diameter within a 5cm square region of tissue. Also, the algorithm is extended into 3 dimensions and results are presented that show that it can calculate a 3 dimensional elasticity distribution efficiently. This extension into 3-d is a significant advance in the field. The second algorithm is a one-step algorithm that seeks to combine the two problems of elasticity distribution and displacement calculation into one. As in the two-step algorithm, a weighting factor, exponential substitution for the elasticity parameter, adjoint method for calculation of the gradient vector, total variation regularization and adaptive mesh refinement strategy are incorporated. Results are presented that show that this original approach can locate tumours of varying sizes and shapes in the presence of varying levels of added artificial noise and that it can determine the presence of a tumour in images taken from breast tissue in vivo.
Supervisor: Chapman, Jon; Kay, David Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Biology and other natural sciences (mathematics) ; Mathematical biology ; Numerical analysis ; Partial differential equations ; Medical Sciences ; Tumour pathology ; Tumours ; Materials modelling ; Applications and algorithms ; Image understanding ; Mathematical modeling (engineering) ; elastography ; ultrasound ; modeling ; soft tissue ; algorithm