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Mechanical Imaging - a Technology for 3-D Visualization and Characterization of Soft Tissue Abnormalities: A Review

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Mechanical Imaging (MI) is a branch of Elastography. MI differs from conventional ultrasonic and MR elastography in that it evaluates soft tissue mechanical structure using stress data rather than dynamic or static strain data. MI closely mimics manual palpation because the MI probe with a force sensor array attached to its tip acts as a palpating finger. MI is intrinsically a three-dimensional imaging modality because the surface stress patterns obtained at different levels of tissue compression are defined by three-dimensional mechanical structure of the tissue. This review presents the biomechanical basis of MI and its applications for breast cancer screening, and the differentiation of benign and malignant lesions, the visualization and evaluation of prostate conditions, and for the characterization of vaginal wall elasticity.

Keywords: Elastography; breast; cancer; elasticity imaging; mechanical imaging; prostate; soft tissue; tactile imaging

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2012

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  • Current Medical Imaging Reviews publishes frontier reviews on all the latest advances on medical imaging. All relevant areas are covered by the journal, including advances in the diagnosis, instrumentation and therapeutic applications related to all modern medical imaging techniques.

    The journal's aim is to publish the highest quality review articles dedicated to research in the field. The journal is essential reading for all clinicians and researchers involved in medical imaging and diagnosis.
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