Quantifying the Effect of Abdominal Body Wall on In Situ Peak Rarefaction Pressure During Diagnostic Ultrasound Imaging.
In this study, 3-D non-linear ultrasound simulations and experimental measurements were used to estimate the range of in situ pressures that can occur during transcutaneous abdominal imaging and to identify the sources of error when estimating in situ peak rarefaction pressures (PRPs) using linear derating, as specified by the mechanical index (MI) guideline. Using simulations, it was found that, for a large transmit aperture (F/1.5), MI consistently over-estimated in situ PRP by 20%-48% primarily owing to phase aberration. For a medium transmit aperture (F/3), the MI accurately estimated the in situ PRP to within 8%. For a small transmit aperture (F/5), MI consistently underestimated the in situ PRP by 32%-50%, with peak locations occurring 1-2 cm before the focal depth, often within the body wall itself. The large variability across body wall samples and focal configurations demonstrates the limitations of the simplified linear derating scheme. The results suggest that patient-specific in situ PRP estimation would allow for increases in transmit pressures, particularly for tightly focused beams, to improve diagnostic image quality while ensuring patient safety.
Zhang, B; Pinton, GF; Deng, Y; Nightingale, KR
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