The purpose of this research is to optimize and evaluate the efficacy of a hybrid imaging and quantitative viscoelasticity measurement tool for breast cancer detection and monitoring. The general goal of this project is to apply vibroacoustography (VA) and the Shearwave Dispersion Ultrasound Vibrometry (SDUV) technique for characterizing breast lesions in specific applications where there is a need for improved imaging with higher specificity. Our hypothesis is that by using combined VA-SDUV, we will be able to improve pre biopsy breast lesion characterization. The hybrid VA-SDUV prototype provides imaging as well as viscoelasticity properties of tissue using the same ultrasound probe. The proposed method will be a low-cost noninvasive tool that is anticipated to offer higher specificity than conventional breast imaging methods;thus, it will reduce unnecessary breast biopsies and improve breast patient care. This project includes the following Specific Aims: (1) Optimize the VA-SDUV prototype for breast imaging and viscoelasticity measurement. (2) Determine diagnostic accuracy of combined use of VA and SDUV in breast lesion detection and, (3) Assess the response to preoperative chemotherapy in breast cancer patients using the combined information from VA and SDUV. Approach:
For Aim 1, we will optimize the VA-SDUV prototype that is implemented on a programmable ultrasound system.
For Aim 2, we will perform VA and SDUV on patients with breast masses identified on MRI. Since MRI has a high sensitivity in detecting breast lesions, estimation of VA sensitivity based on MRI is expected to be a good estimation of its true sensitivity. We will then identify common features associated with breast cancer lesions, such as spiculation, architectural distortion, microlobulated lesion or ill defined lesion, and presence of pleomorphic calcifications. SDUV provides quantitative estimate of lesion elasticity and viscosity, which are important markers of malignancy. Combined information from VA and SDUV will be used to differentiate breast lesions. Sensitivity and specificity of the proposed method will be calculated based on MRI and the result of pathology.
For Aim 3 of the project, we will perform VA and SDUV on newly diagnosed breast cancer patients who are scheduled for preoperative chemotherapy. VA imaging and SDUV will be repeated in the middle and after completion of the preoperative chemotherapy. The pre-, mid- and post- chemotherapy VA images will be compared to the corresponding MRI images to verify the capability of VA in estimating lesion downsizing. Changes in lesion appearance and viscoelastic parameters will be correlated to lesion size changes. We will verify the results using the results of MRI and biopsy.

Public Health Relevance

The goal of this project is to develop a new tool for detection and evaluation of breast masses. Specifically, the new combined method will have a significant impact on breast cancer care by reducing the numbers of unnecessary breast biopsies, improving detection in high risk women who have mammographically dense parenchyma, and better assessing the response to preoperative chemotherapy in breast cancer patients. Successful completion of this research will lead to a tool for breast cancer detection and monitoring.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Biomedical Imaging Technology Study Section (BMIT)
Program Officer
Baker, Houston
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Mayo Clinic, Rochester
United States
Zip Code
Mehrmohammadi, Mohammad; Song, Pengfei; Meixner, Duane D et al. (2015) Comb-push ultrasound shear elastography (CUSE) for evaluation of thyroid nodules: preliminary in vivo results. IEEE Trans Med Imaging 34:97-106
Denis, Max; Bayat, Mahdi; Mehrmohammadi, Mohammad et al. (2015) Update on Breast Cancer Detection Using Comb-Push Ultrasound Shear Elastography. IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control 62:1644-50
Song, Pengfei; Macdonald, Michael; Behler, Russell et al. (2015) Two-dimensional shear-wave elastography on conventional ultrasound scanners with time-aligned sequential tracking (TAST) and comb-push ultrasound shear elastography (CUSE). IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control 62:290-302
Urban, Matthew W; Wang, Chenyi; Alizad, Azra et al. (2015) Complex background suppression for vibro-acoustography images. Ultrasonics 56:456-72
Gregory, Adriana; Bayat, Mahdi; Denis, Max et al. (2015) An experimental phantom study on the effect of calcifications on ultrasound shear wave elastography. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc 2015:3843-6
Denis, Max; Mehrmohammadi, Mohammad; Song, Pengfei et al. (2015) Comb-push ultrasound shear elastography of breast masses: initial results show promise. PLoS One 10:e0119398
Mehrmohammadi, Mohammad; Fazzio, Robert T; Whaley, Dana H et al. (2014) Preliminary in vivo breast vibro-acoustography results with a quasi-2-d array transducer: a step forward. Ultrasound Med Biol 40:2819-29
Alizad, Azra; Mehrmohammadi, Mohammad; Ghosh, Karthik et al. (2014) Breast vibro-acoustography: initial experience in benign lesions. BMC Med Imaging 14:40
Nabavizadeh, Alireza; Greenleaf, James F; Fatemi, Mostafa et al. (2014) Optimized shear wave generation using hybrid beamforming methods. Ultrasound Med Biol 40:188-99