In the feasibility study described here, we developed and tested a novel method for mechanical wave velocity estimation for tissue fibrosis detection in the myocardium. High-frame-rate ultrasound imaging and a novel signal processing method called clutter filter wave imaging was used. A mechanical wave propagating through the left ventricle shortly after the atrial contraction was measured in the three different apical acquisition planes, for 20 infarct patients and 10 healthy controls. The results obtained were correlated with fibrosis locations from magnetic resonance imaging, and a sensitivity ≥60% was achieved for all infarcts larger than 10% of the left ventricle. The stability of the wave through several heart cycles was assessed and found to be of high quality. This method therefore has potential for non-invasive fibrosis detection in the myocardium, but further validation in a larger group of subjects is needed.
Keywords: Clutter filter wave imaging Fibrosis High-frame-rate ultrasound imaging Mechanical wave velocity estimation Natural mechanical wave