UsTK : Ultrasound ToolKit  version 1.0.0 under development (2020-02-18) under development (2020-02-18)
Tutorial: UsTK elastography


This tutorial expains how to perform elastography task on RF image coming through the network (with virtual server in this tutorial).

How does elastography works ?

The elastography computation requires 2 RF input images. The process estimates the axial displacements of the RF samples per blocks in the image, and produces the strain map of the tissues based on those displacements.

Running the tutorial

To run the tutorial, you have to run first the virtual server application to send a RF palpation sequence contained in ustk-dataset repository (, from ustk build directory:

$ ./apps/ustk/virtual-server/ustk-virtualServer --input /path/to/ustk-dataset/RFElasto

This application will send the RF sequence through TCP to the client. The client is the tutorial main application, here is the source code:

#include <iostream>
#include <visp3/ustk_core/usConfig.h>
#if (defined(USTK_HAVE_QT5) || defined(USTK_HAVE_VTK_QT)) && (defined(VISP_HAVE_X11) || defined(VISP_HAVE_GDI)) && \
#include <QApplication>
#include <QStringList>
#include <QtCore/QThread>
#include <visp3/ustk_core/usRFToPreScan2DConverter.h>
#include <visp3/ustk_core/usSequenceWriter.h>
#include <visp3/ustk_elastography/usElastography.h>
#include <visp3/ustk_elastography/usImageElastography.h>
#include <visp3/ustk_grabber/usNetworkGrabberRF2D.h>
#include <visp3/gui/vpDisplayGDI.h>
#include <visp3/gui/vpDisplayX.h>
#include <visp3/io/vpImageIo.h>
int main(int argc, char **argv)
// QT application
QApplication app(argc, argv);
QString ip;
// by default we use the virtual server, based on a palpation dataset
if (app.arguments().contains(QString("--ip")))
ip = app.arguments().at(qApp->arguments().indexOf(QString("--ip")) + 1);
ip = QString("");
usElastography *elastography = new usElastography;
elastography->setROI(40, 2700, 50, 500);
// setting acquisition parameters
header.probeId = 15; // 4DC7 id = 15
header.slotId = 0; // top slot id = 0
header.imagingMode = 12; // B-mode = 0, RF = 12
// prepare image;
// prepare converter
vpImage<unsigned char> strainImage;
usImageElastography elastographyImage;
vpImage<vpRGBa> elastoToDisplay;
// Prepare display
#if defined(VISP_HAVE_X11)
vpDisplayX *displayElasto = NULL;
#elif defined(VISP_HAVE_GDI)
vpDisplayGDI *displayElasto = NULL;
bool displayInit = false;
bool captureRunning = true;
// sending acquisition parameters
std::cout << "waiting ultrasound initialisation..." << std::endl;
// our local grabbing loop
do {
if (qtGrabber->isFirstFrameAvailable()) {
grabbedFrame = qtGrabber->acquire();
std::cout << "MAIN THREAD received frame No : " << grabbedFrame->getFrameCount() << std::endl;
strainImage = elastography->run();
std::cout << "strain image size : " << strainImage.getHeight() << ", " << strainImage.getWidth() << std::endl;
converter.convert(*grabbedFrame, preScanImage);
elastographyImage.setStrainMap(strainImage, 270, 40);
elastoToDisplay = elastographyImage.getElastoImage();
// init display
if (!displayInit && strainImage.getHeight() != 0 && strainImage.getWidth() != 0) {
#if defined(VISP_HAVE_X11)
displayElasto = new vpDisplayX(elastoToDisplay);
#elif defined(VISP_HAVE_GDI)
displayElasto = new vpDisplayGDI(elastoToDisplay);
displayInit = true;
// processing display
if (displayInit) {
else {
} while (captureRunning);
if (displayInit) {
delete displayElasto;
return app.exec();
int main()
std::cout << "You should intall Qt5 (with wigdets and network modules), FFTW and a display graphic system (GDI or "
"X11) to run this tutorial"
<< std::endl;
return 0;

You can see that the ROI selection is hard-coded, it is intentionnally done to perform the elastography on a region with huge diferences in tissues stiffness. The ROI is the region contained in the red rectangle in the first display. The second display shows the elastography result: hard tissues are in black, and soft ones in whithe.

You can run it once the virtual server is correctly running, from ustk build directory:

$ ./elastography/tutorial-elastography-2D