Editor’s Introduction: The Elastography Issue
Given that this is the last print copy of the journal, I thought it appropriate to focus on the newest most innovative technology sweeping its way through the world of ultrasound, and that is elastography. So this issue is primarily dedicated to elastography and the numerous ways it is already being utilized worldwide. Until this page year, the journal received very few manuscripts regarding elastography and those that have been published referred to strain elastography almost exclusively. Then last year, suddenly we began to receive articles every month regarding the newest technological advance, shear wave elastography.
Amongst its many applications to ultrasound particularly in breast and musculoskeletal imaging, shear wave elastography made the performance of liver stiffness measurements feasible with ultrasound which has opened up an entirely new venue for the clinical application of this technique. Given the incredibly high prevalence of viral, alcohol, and fat induced hepatitis in the United States and around the world, the market for this new technology in combination with new pharmaceutical agents used to treat viral hepatitis seems unlimited in its potential for explosive growth over the next few years. And this is just the beginning; we’ve always used ultrasound to measure velocities running vertically to and from the transducer interface. Now we have a method for assessing sound wave velocity horizontally parallel to the face of the transducer and this technology has only begun to be studied in the form of elastography, but much greater tissue characterization may be possible and other advances may result that we can only imagine currently.
All of that said the current issue opens with Dr. Dighe’s study of interobserver variation in interpreting thyroid elastography images. Dr. Qin Li’s comparison between traditional grayscale ultrasound imaging and elastography of the breast follows. A description of how breast elastography is performed and utilized in Greece by Dr. Christina Gkali follows. Another paper regarding interobserver variation of focal liver lesion elastograpy by Dr. Young Jun Kim follows. The utility in the detection of kidney stones with elastography imaging using phantoms by Dr. Anthony Samir follows. Christina Gkali’s case report of a breast lymphoma and how the use of elastography contributed to the diagnostic work up follows. Since one cannot help but notice the international contribution of articles regarding elastography, two manuscripts describing the use of ultrasound in Uganda follow with the first by Dr. Michael Grace describing a Gates Foundation Funded program to teach very basic obstetrical ultrasound to nonphysicians and the second being the material presented at the SRU two years ago by Dr. Michael Kawooya regarding the diagnosis and treatment of tropical disease in Uganda. Both demonstrate the world of opportunity available to those of us in ultrasound if we choose to pursue global health studies. Finally as always, the invaluable review of the literature outside of radiology now overseen by Dr. Yoshimi Endo as the section editor for this segment of the journal, with contributions by Dr. Ronald Wachsberg in abdominal ultrasound, and Dr.