Special Collection: Clinical Guidelines
- Conventional diagnostic ultrasound images of the anatomy (as opposed to blood flow) reveal differences in the acoustic properties of soft tissues (mainly echogenicity but also, to some extent, attenuation), whereas ultrasound-based elasticity images are able to reveal the differences in the elastic properties of soft tissues (e.g., elasticity and viscosity). The benefit of elasticity imaging lies in the fact that many soft tissues can share similar ultrasonic echogenicities but may have different mechanical properties that can be used to clearly visualize normal anatomy and delineate pathologic lesions.
- The recent trend of a significant increase in publications on elastography evoked the World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology (WFUMB) to feel the urgent need to create guidelines on the clinical use of elastography. At the WFUMB congress in Vienna in August 2011, the WFUMB leadership decided to take initiative to create the guidelines; the first consensus meeting was held in March 2013 in Washington, DC, and this was followed by sponsoring an elastography consensus session at the WFUMB Congress in San Paolo in May 2013.
- The World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology (WFUMB) has produced these guidelines for the use of elastography techniques in liver disease. For each available technique, the reproducibility, results, and limitations are analyzed, and recommendations are given. Finally, recommendations based on the international literature and the findings of the WFUMB expert group are established as answers to common questions. The document has a clinical perspective and is aimed at assessing the usefulness of elastography in the management of liver diseases.
- The breast section of these Guidelines and Recommendations for Elastography produced under the auspices of the World Federation of Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology (WFUMB) assesses the clinically used applications of all forms of elastography used in breast imaging. The literature on various breast elastography techniques is reviewed, and recommendations are made on evidence-based results. Practical advice is given on how to perform and interpret breast elastography for optimal results, with emphasis placed on avoiding pitfalls.
- After the end of World War II, advances in ultrasound (US) technology brought improved possibilities for medical applications. The first major efforts in this direction were in the use of US to treat diseases. Medical studies were accompanied by experiments with laboratory animals and other model systems to investigate basic biological questions and to obtain better understanding of mechanisms. Also, improvements were made in methods for measuring and controlling acoustical quantities such as power, intensity and pressure.
- Modern sophisticated ultrasonographic equipment is capable of delivering substantial levels of acoustic energy into the body when used at maximum outputs. The risk of producing bioeffects has been studied by international expert groups during symposia supported by the World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology (WFUMB). These have resulted in the publication of internationally accepted conclusions and recommendations. National ultrasound safety committees have published guidelines as well.