Incoherent Clutter Suppression Using Lag-One Coherence.
The lag-one coherence (LOC), derived from the correlation between the nearest-neighbor channel signals, provides a reliable measure of clutter which, under certain assumptions, can be directly related to the signal-to-noise ratio of individual channel signals. This offers a direct means to decompose the beamsum output power into contributions from speckle and spatially incoherent noise originating from acoustic clutter and thermal noise. In this study, we applied a novel method called lag-one spatial coherence adaptive normalization (LoSCAN) to locally estimate and compensate for the contribution of spatially incoherent clutter from conventional delay-and-sum (DAS) images. Suppression of incoherent clutter by LoSCAN resulted in improved image quality without introducing many of the artifacts common to other adaptive imaging methods. In simulations with known targets and added channel noise, LoSCAN was shown to restore native contrast and increase DAS dynamic range by as much as 10-15 dB. These improvements were accompanied by DAS-like speckle texture along with reduced focal dependence and artifact compared with other adaptive methods. Under in vivo liver and fetal imaging conditions, LoSCAN resulted in increased generalized contrast-to-noise ratio (gCNR) in nearly all matched image pairs ( N = 366 ) with average increases of 0.01, 0.03, and 0.05 in good-, fair-, and poor-quality DAS images, respectively, and overall changes in gCNR from -0.01 to 0.20, contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) from -0.05 to 0.34, contrast from -9.5 to -0.1 dB, and texture μ/σ from -0.37 to -0.001 relative to DAS.
Long, W; Bottenus, N; Trahey, GE
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