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In International journal of computer assisted radiology and surgery

PURPOSE : Elasticity of soft tissue provides valuable information to physicians during treatment and diagnosis of diseases. A number of approaches have been proposed to estimate tissue stiffness from the shear wave velocity. Optical coherence elastography offers a particularly high spatial and temporal resolution. However, current approaches typically acquire data at different positions sequentially, making it slow and less practical for clinical application.

METHODS : We propose a new approach for elastography estimations using a fast imaging device to acquire small image volumes at rates of 831 Hz. The resulting sequence of phase image volumes is fed into a 4D convolutional neural network which handles both spatial and temporal data processing. We evaluate the approach on a set of image data acquired for gelatin phantoms of known elasticity.

RESULTS : Using the neural network, the gelatin concentration of unseen samples was predicted with a mean error of 0.65 ± 0.81 percentage points from 90 subsequent volumes of phase data only. We achieve a data acquisition and data processing time of under 12 ms and 22 ms, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS : We demonstrate direct volumetric optical coherence elastography from phase image data. The approach does not rely on particular stimulation or sampling sequences and allows the estimation of elastic tissue properties of up to 40 Hz.

Neidhardt M, Bengs M, Latus S, Schl├╝ter M, Saathoff T, Schlaefer A


Convolutional neuronal networks, Deep learning, Optical coherence elastography, Real-time imaging