Resolution and brightness characteristics of short-lag spatial coherence (SLSC) images.
We previously described a novel beamforming method that images the spatial correlation of an echo wave field with demonstrated applications to clutter reduction in high-noise environments. In this paper, several characteristics of the resolution and brightness of short-lag spatial coherence (SLSC) images formed by this method are compared with B-mode images formed by conventional delay-and-sum beamforming methods. Point target widths were measured to estimate resolution, the autocorrelation of image texture was measured to estimate texture size, and the contrast (i.e., brightness ratio) of clinically relevant targets was assessed. SLSC images demonstrate improved resolution and contrast with increasing values of channel noise and clutter, whereas B-mode resolution was degraded in the presence of high noise (i.e., > -12 dB channel noise-to-signal ratios) and high clutter magnitudes (i.e., > -21 dB relative to point target magnitude). Lateral resolution in SLSC images was improved with increasing lag value, whereas axial resolution was degraded with increasing correlation kernel length. The texture size of SLSC images was smaller than that of matched B-mode images. Results demonstrate that the resolution and contrast of coherence-based images depend on a range of parameters, but are generally superior to those of matched B-mode images under challenging imaging conditions.
Lediju Bell, MA; Dahl, JJ; Trahey, GE
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