Frequency-Dependent Spatial Coherence in Conventional and Chirp Transmissions.
The development of adaptive imaging techniques is contingent on the accurate and repeatable characterization of ultrasonic image quality. Adaptive transmit frequency selection, filtering, and frequency compounding all offer the ability to improve target conspicuity by balancing the effects of imaging resolution, the signal-to-clutter ratio, and speckle texture, but these strategies rely on the ability to capture image quality at each desired frequency. We investigate the use of broadband linear frequency-modulated transmissions, also known as chirps, to expedite the interrogation of frequency-dependent tissue spatial coherence for real-time implementations of frequency-based adaptive imaging strategies. Chirp-collected measurements of coherence are compared to those acquired by individually transmitted conventional pulses over a range of fundamental and harmonic frequencies, in order to evaluate the ability of chirps to recreate conventionally acquired coherence. Simulation and measurements in a uniform phantom free of acoustic clutter indicate that chirps replicate not only the mean coherence in a region-of-interest but also the distribution of coherence values over frequency. Results from acquisitions in porcine abdominal and human liver models show that prediction accuracy improves with chirp length. Chirps are also able to predict frequency-dependent decreases in coherence in both porcine abdominal and human liver models for fundamental and pulse inversion harmonic imaging. This work indicates that the use of chirps is a viable strategy to improve the efficiency of variable frequency coherence mapping, thus presenting an avenue for real-time implementations for frequency-based adaptive strategies.
Long, J; Bottenus, N; Trahey, GE
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