Finite element (FE) modeling provides a useful tool to understand the mechanical behavior of complex tissues, such as cancers, in a variety of testing conditions. Although a number of numerical and analytical models for cancerous tumors are retrievable in the literature, none of these models is capable of completely describing the behavior of a cancer embedded in a normal tissue in the conditions typical for an ultrasound elastography experiment. In this paper, we first design and implement a realistic FE model of the mechanical behavior of a cancer embedded in a normal tissue under ultrasound elastography testing conditions. In addition to the commonly used tissue mechanical properties, for the cancer, elevated interstitial fluid pressure (IFP) is incorporated in the model. IFP is a parameter of great clinical significance, but it is not typically considered in elastographic models of tumors. The developed model is then used to thoroughly study the effect of IFP on the axial, lateral and volumetric strains inside the tumor. The results of this study demonstrate that the presence of the IFP affects both the temporal and spatial distributions of the axial, lateral, volumetric strains and related elastographic parameters. Thus, these results lead to two important considerations: (1) that a correct interpretation of experimental elastographic data need a clear understanding of the effect of the IFP on the obtained elastograms and (2) that this IFP-dependent alteration of the elastographic parameters may provide an opportunity to non-invasively gain localized information about this clinically relevant parameter.
- cancer imaging
- Finite element modeling
- interstitial fluid pressure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging