Virtual Touch imaging, available on the ACUSON S2000TM and ACUSON S3000TM ultrasound systems, implements Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse (ARFI) technology for evaluation of deep tissues not accessible by superficial compression elastography. Virtual Touch Imaging provides a qualitative grayscale map (elastogram) of relative stiffness for a user-defined region of interest. Using this method, stiff tissue may be differentiated from soft tissue even if appearing isoechoic using conventional ultrasound imaging.
Virtual Touch Imaging Technology
A Virtual Touch image is acquired through a series of acoustic push pulse/detection pulse sequences. The process may be divided into three basic steps:
- Baseline image is acquired.
- Acoustic push pulse is transmitted to compress tissue.
- Detection pulses are used to track the degree of compression.
This process is repeated throughout the region of interest. The resultant image is displayed side-by-side to the corresponding B-mode image for comparison.
Benefits of Virtual Touch Imaging Technology
The benefits of Virtual Touch Imaging as compared to other elastography techniques include:
- No manual compression.
- Superior image quality.
- Decreased interoperator variability.
- Deep tissue imaging.