Evaluating the Improvement in Shear Wave Speed Image Quality Using Multidimensional Directional Filters in the Presence of Reflection Artifacts.
Shear waves propagating through interfaces where there is a change in stiffness cause reflected waves that can lead to artifacts in shear wave speed (SWS) reconstructions. Two-dimensional (2-D) directional filters are commonly used to reduce in-plane reflected waves; however, SWS artifacts arise from both in- and out-of-imaging-plane reflected waves. Herein, we introduce 3-D shear wave reconstruction methods as an extension of the previous 2-D estimation methods and quantify the reduction in image artifacts through the use of volumetric SWS monitoring and 4-D-directional filters. A Gaussian acoustic radiation force impulse excitation was simulated in phantoms with Young's modulus (E) of 3 kPa and a 5-mm spherical lesion with E = 6, 12, or 18.75 kPa. The 2-D-, 3-D-, and 4-D-directional filters were applied to the displacement profiles to reduce in-and out-of-plane reflected wave artifacts. Contrast-to-noise ratio and SWS bias within the lesion were calculated for each reconstructed SWS image to evaluate the image quality. For 2-D SWS image reconstructions, the 3-D-directional filters showed greater improvements in image quality than the 2-D filters, and the 4-D-directional filters showed marginal improvement over the 3-D filters. Although 4-D-directional filters can further reduce the impact of large magnitude out-of-plane reflection artifacts in SWS images, computational overhead and transducer costs to acquire 3-D data may outweigh the modest improvements in image quality. The 4-D-directional filters have the largest impact in reducing reflection artifacts in 3-D SWS volumes.
Lipman, SL; Rouze, NC; Palmeri, ML; Nightingale, KR
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