Clinical Utility of Fetal Short-Lag Spatial Coherence Imaging.
In this study, we evaluate the clinical utility of fetal short-lag spatial coherence (SLSC) imaging. Previous work has documented significant improvements in image quality with fetal SLSC imaging as quantified by measurements of contrast and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR). The objective of this study was to examine whether this improved technical efficacy is indicative of the clinical utility of SLSC imaging. Eighteen healthy volunteers in their first and second trimesters of pregnancy were scanned using a modified Siemens SC2000 clinical scanner. Raw channel data were acquired for routinely examined fetal organs and used to generate fully matched raw and post-processed harmonic B-mode and SLSC image sequences, which were subsequently optimized for dynamic range and other imaging parameters by a blinded sonographer. Optimized videos were reviewed in matched B-mode and SLSC pairs by three blinded clinicians who scored each video based on overall quality, target conspicuity and border definition. SLSC imaging was highly favored over conventional imaging with SLSC scoring equal to (28.2 ± 10.5%) or higher than (63.9 ± 12.9%) B-mode for video pairs across all examined structures and processing conditions. Multivariate modeling revealed that SLSC imaging is a significant predictor of improved image quality with p ≤ 0.002. Expert-user scores for image quality support the application of SLSC in fetal ultrasound imaging.
Long, W; Hyun, D; Choudhury, KR; Bradway, D; McNally, P; Boyd, B; Ellestad, S; Trahey, GE
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