A robust method to estimate the time constant of elastographic parameters

Md Tauhidul Islam, Anuj Chaudhry, Raffaella Righetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Novel viscoelastic and poroelastic elastography techniques rely on the accurate estimation of the temporal behavior of the axial or lateral strains and related parameters. From the temporal curve of the elastographic parameter of interest, the time constant (TC) is estimated using analytical models and curve-fitting techniques such as Levenberg-Marquardt (LM), Nelder-Mead (NM), and trust-region reflective (TR). In this paper, we propose a new technique named variable projection (VP) to estimate accurately and robustly the TC and steady-state value of the elastographic parameter of interest from its temporal curve. As a testing platform, the method is used with a novel analytical model, which can be used for both poroelastic and viscoelastic tissues and in most practical experimental conditions of clinical interest. Finite element and ultrasound simulations and experimental results demonstrate that VP is robust to noise and capable of estimating the TC of the elastographic parameter with accuracy higher than that of typically employed curve-fitting techniques. The results also demonstrate that the performance of VP is not affected by an incorrect initial TC guess. For example, in simulations, VP can estimate the TC of axial strain and effective Poisson's ratio accurately for initial guesses ranging from 0.001 to infinite times of the true TC value even in fairly noisy conditions (30-dB signal to noise ratio). In experiments, VP always estimates the axial strain TC reliably, whereas the LM, NM, and TR methods fail to converge or converge to wrong solutions in most of the cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8625607
Pages (from-to)1358-1370
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2019


  • Cancer imaging
  • Levenberg-Marquardt
  • Time constant estimation
  • Ultrasound poroelastography
  • Variable projection
  • Viscoelastic imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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