Kathryn Nightingale

Overview:

The goals of our laboratory are to investigate and improve ultrasonic imaging methods for clinically-relevant problems. We do this through theoretical, experimental, and simulation methods. The main focus of our recent work is the development of novel, acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI)-based elasticity imaging methods to generate images of the mechanical properties of tissue, involving interdisciplinary research in ultrasonics and tissue biomechanics. We have access to the engineering interfaces of several commercial ultrasound systems which allows us to design, rapidly prototype, and experimentally demonstrate custom sequences to explore novel beamforming and imaging concepts. We employ FEM modeling methods to simulate the behavior of tissues during mechanical excitation, and we have integrated these tools with ultrasonic imaging modeling tools to simulate the ARFI imaging process. We maintain strong collaborations with the Duke University Medical Center where we work to translate our technologies to clinical practice. The ARFI imaging technologies we have developed have served as the basis for commercial imaging technologies that are now being used in clinics throughout the world.  We are also studying the risks and benefits of increasing acoustic output energy for specific clinical imaging scenarios, with the goal of improving ultrasonic image quality in the difficult-to-image patient.

Positions:

Theo Pilkington Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical Engineering
Pratt School of Engineering

Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical Engineering
Pratt School of Engineering

Member of the Duke Cancer Institute

Duke Cancer Institute
School of Medicine

Bass Fellow

Biomedical Engineering
Pratt School of Engineering

Education:

B.S. 1989

Duke University

Ph.D. 1997

Duke University

Grants:

A Patient-Adaptive, High MI Abdominal Scanner

Administered By
Biomedical Engineering
Awarded By
National Institutes of Health
Role
Co Investigator
Start Date
End Date

Improved ultrasound imaging using elevated acoustic output

Administered By
Biomedical Engineering
Awarded By
National Institutes of Health
Role
Principal Investigator
Start Date
End Date

Acoustic Radiation Force Based Hepatic Elasticity Quantification and Imaging

Administered By
Biomedical Engineering
Awarded By
National Institutes of Health
Role
Principal Investigator
Start Date
End Date

Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse (ARFI) Imaging of Cardiac Tissue

Administered By
Biomedical Engineering
Awarded By
National Institutes of Health
Role
Investigator
Start Date
End Date

Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse (ARFI) Imaging of Cardiac Tissue

Administered By
Biomedical Engineering
Awarded By
National Institutes of Health
Role
Investigator
Start Date
End Date

Publications:

Acoustic Radiation Force-Based Elasticity Imaging

8.1 Introduction Since ancient Egyptian medicine, manual palpation has been used to detect the size, location, and stiffness of superficial structures within the body [1]. By assessing the elasticity (i.e., stiffness) of structures compared with surrounding tissues, the information gleaned by palpation can help clinicians determine states of disease associated with various pathologic processes. For instance, the presence of a stiff mass within otherwise healthy breast tissue can be an indication of breast cancer [2-5]. Although indispensable for medical diagnosis, manual palpation methods do not allow clinicians to “see” changes deep within the tissue. Furthermore, because these pathologic processes are associated with changes in the mechanical properties of tissue, they can often go unnoticed by conventional imaging techniques, such as diagnostic ultrasound, which distinguishes features based on the acoustic properties of tissue. To that end, ultrasound elasticity imaging methods have been developed as noninvasive tools for probing the elasticity of tissue deep within the body.
Authors
Doherty, JR; Palmeri, ML; Trahey, GE; Nightingale, KR
MLA Citation
Doherty, J. R., et al. “Acoustic Radiation Force-Based Elasticity Imaging.” Ultrasound Imaging and Therapy, 2015, pp. 229–59. Scopus, doi:10.1201/b18467-15.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1532484
Source
scopus
Published Date
Start Page
229
End Page
259
DOI
10.1201/b18467-15

Deep neural network for multiparametric ultrasound imaging of prostate cancer

This study presents a deep neural network (DNN) for generating a multiparametric ultrasound (mpUS) volume of the prostate by combining data from acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) imaging, shear wave elasticity imaging (SWEI), B-mode imaging, and quantitative ultrasound-midband fit (QUS-MF). The DNN was trained using in vivo data to maximize the contrast-to-noise ratio between prostate cancer and healthy tissue. The network was evaluated in a prostate phantom, where the DNN was shown to increase the CNR of lesions as well as the CNR between the peripheral zone and the background. In a test in vivo dataset, the DNN improved the visibility of a histology-confirmed lesion. These findings suggest that deep learning may be a promising approach for providing enhanced imaging guidance during a biopsy of the prostate.
Authors
Chan, DY; Morris, DC; Lye, T; Polascik, TJ; Palmeri, ML; Mamou, J; Nightingale, KR
MLA Citation
Chan, D. Y., et al. “Deep neural network for multiparametric ultrasound imaging of prostate cancer.” Ieee International Ultrasonics Symposium, Ius, 2021. Scopus, doi:10.1109/IUS52206.2021.9593332.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1506953
Source
scopus
Published In
Ieee International Ultrasonics Symposium, Ius
Published Date
DOI
10.1109/IUS52206.2021.9593332

Group Shear Wave Speed Viscoelastic Analysis using 3D Rotational Volumetric Shear Wave Imaging in Relaxed and Contracted in vivo Muscle

To characterize muscle tissue as a viscoelastic transversely isotropic material, we use rotational volumetric shear wave elasticity imaging (SWEI) and group speed viscoelastic analysis. We performed these measurements in vivo in the vastus lateralis of two healthy volunteers, both at rest and in varying degrees of contraction. We found a high degree of repeatability in our at rest elasticity measurements, determining that the stiffness along the fibers is higher than across the fibers. The viscosity at rest is approximately equal and low in both directions. In our contraction analysis, we found that stiffness increases substantially along the fibers and increases slightly across the fibers with increasing contraction. No clear trends were observed between viscosity and contraction level. Future work will improve the method of model-based viscoelastic characterization within the con of transversely isotropic materials and expand this analysis to more subjects.
Authors
Trutna, CA; Knight, AE; Jin, FQ; Rouze, NC; Pietrosimone, LS; Toth, AP; Hobson-Webb, LD; Palmeri, ML; Nightingale, KR
MLA Citation
Trutna, C. A., et al. “Group Shear Wave Speed Viscoelastic Analysis using 3D Rotational Volumetric Shear Wave Imaging in Relaxed and Contracted in vivo Muscle.” Ieee International Ultrasonics Symposium, Ius, 2021. Scopus, doi:10.1109/IUS52206.2021.9593606.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1507110
Source
scopus
Published In
Ieee International Ultrasonics Symposium, Ius
Published Date
DOI
10.1109/IUS52206.2021.9593606

Quantification of Skeletal Muscle Fiber Orientation in 3D Ultrasound B-Modes

Skeletal muscle exhibits transverse isotropy with a symmetry axis in the muscle fiber direction. Characterization of muscle mechanical properties with ultrasound shear wave elasticity imaging requires an accurate measurement of the 3D muscle fiber orientation (MFO): rotation and tilt. Existing approaches apply to 2D B-mode images, extract only fiber tilt, and detect individual fibers. Here, we present a Fourier-domain approach for calculating 3D MFO from 3D B-mode volumes acquired using two imaging setups: 1) a cylindrical volume acquired by rotating a linear transducer, and 2) a rectangular volume acquired by a rectilinear matrix array transducer. We imaged the vastus lateralis muscle of a healthy volunteer and also manually measured the orientation of individual fibers observed in these two B-mode volumes to assess heterogeneity. For rotation and tilt respectively, the standard deviations were 6.4° and 1.5° for the rotational B-mode (n=7) and 2.7° and 1.5° for the matrix B-mode (n=43). We validated our proposed algorithm on in silico and in vivo data: errors in rotation and tilt from the mean orientation were within 1° for both imaging setups and less than the in vivo MFO heterogeneity. Lastly, we performed a Bland- Altman analysis of rotation angles estimated from B-mode and from shear wave elastography data (n=35): bias was less than than 1°, and 95% limits of agreement was ±10°. Our Fourier-domain approach precisely computes the average 3D MFO from 3D ultrasound B-mode volumes of muscle, and these orientation estimates will be used in ongoing muscle characterization studies.
Authors
Jin, FQ; Trutna, CA; Knight, AE; Hobson-Webb, LD; Nightingale, KR; Palmeri, ML
MLA Citation
Jin, F. Q., et al. “Quantification of Skeletal Muscle Fiber Orientation in 3D Ultrasound B-Modes.” Ieee International Ultrasonics Symposium, Ius, 2021. Scopus, doi:10.1109/IUS52206.2021.9593903.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1507111
Source
scopus
Published In
Ieee International Ultrasonics Symposium, Ius
Published Date
DOI
10.1109/IUS52206.2021.9593903

Factors Affecting in vivo SH and SV Mode Wave Propagation in vastus lateralis Muscle at Varying Knee Flexion Angles Using Ultrasonic Rotational 3D SWEI

We previously have demonstrated the use of ultrasonic rotational 3D SWEI to measure all three mechanical properties necessary to fully characterize the vastus lateralis muscle in vivo as an incompressible transversely isotropic material: transverse shear modulusmu_{T}, longitudinal shear modulusmu_{L}, and tensile anisotropychi_{E}. In this work we investigate how varying knee flexion angle affects the mechanical properties of the vastus lateralis. As knee flexion angle increased, mu_{L}, \chi_{E}, andchi_((_{L}-_{T})/_{T}) all increased, whilemu_{T} remained consistent across knee angles. At all nine knee flexion angles investigated in a healthy volunteerchi_{E} >chi_, indicating that these are independent parameters.
Authors
Knight, AE; Trutna, CA; Jin, FQ; Rouze, NC; Pietrosimone, LS; Hobson-Webb, LD; Toth, AP; Palmeri, ML; Nightingale, KR
MLA Citation
Knight, A. E., et al. “Factors Affecting in vivo SH and SV Mode Wave Propagation in vastus lateralis Muscle at Varying Knee Flexion Angles Using Ultrasonic Rotational 3D SWEI.” Ieee International Ultrasonics Symposium, Ius, 2021. Scopus, doi:10.1109/IUS52206.2021.9593455.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1507112
Source
scopus
Published In
Ieee International Ultrasonics Symposium, Ius
Published Date
DOI
10.1109/IUS52206.2021.9593455

Research Areas:

Acoustics
Active learning
Biomechanical Phenomena
Biomechanics
Blood
Blood-Brain Barrier
Catheter Ablation
Computer Simulation
Contrast Media
Diagnostic Imaging
Elasticity
Elasticity Imaging Techniques
Equipment Design
Fatty Liver
Finite Element Analysis
Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
Imaging, Three-Dimensional
Liver
Liver Cirrhosis, Experimental
Muscle, Skeletal
Palpation
Phantoms, Imaging
Prostate
Skin
Transducers
Ultrasonic Therapy
Ultrasonics
Ultrasonography
Ultrasonography, Interventional
Ultrasonography, Mammary
Urine
Viscosity
Water