Elastography is a test that uses painless, low frequency sound waves to test the elasticity of body organs. When tissues lack elasticity and are stiff, it can be a sign of disease. This particular imaging test is used to examine a number of body parts, such as the breast, the cervix for thyroid and parathyroid disease, the liver, the prostate, and the musculoskeletal system. Elastography complements the ultrasound procedure, as most ultrasound machines have this technique in their software, offering results of high diagnostic value.
Breast elastography is a new ultrasound technique that provides information about breast lesions in addition to conventional ultrasound and mammography. Elastography provides a detailed assessment of breast pathology by screening for tissue lesions of malignant etiology. The breast area is thoroughly investigated to identify cysts and cancerous lesions, while the full extent of the affected pathology is identified. The breast elastography procedure can be performed with two different techniques, stress elastography and shear wave elastography.
The thyroid elastography procedure works in addition to the classic ultrasound examination of the thyroid and lymph nodes in the neck area. In this way, the hardness of the tissues is investigated in order to look for any malignancy. The elasticity of the soft tissues of the thyroid is examined, in order to highlight possible lesions or nodules. Examining the nodules investigates their hardness and consequently the possibility of cancer cells.
Elastography is widely used for the research and diagnosis of diseases in the musculoskeletal system, as it tests the stiffness of muscle fibers, nerves and tendons to assess functional muscle disorders. This examination is also carried out in cases of muscle injuries, in order to determine the extent of the damage in each case.
Elastography in the liver area is used to look for and diagnose conditions such as fatty liver disease and fibrosis. Fatty liver disease is a condition in which fat builds up in the liver. This fat can lead to cell damage and fibrosis. Fibrosis is a condition that reduces blood flow to and within the liver. If left untreated, fibrosis can lead to serious liver problems. These include cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver failure. But early diagnosis and treatment can reduce or even reverse the effects of fibrosis.