Ultrasound three-dimensional velocity measurements by feature tracking
This article describes a new angle-independent method suitable for three-dimensional (3-D) blood flow velocity measurement that tracks features of the ultrasonic speckle produced by a pulse echo system. In this method, a feature is identified and followed over time to detect motion. Other blood flow velocity measurement methods typically estimate velocity using one- (1-D) or two-dimensional (2-D) spatial and time information. Speckle decorrelation due to motion in the elevation dimension may hinder this estimate of the true 3-D blood flow velocity vector. Feature tracking is a 3-D method with the ability to measure the true blood velocity vector rather than a projection onto a line or plane. Off-line experiments using a tissue phantom and a real-time volumetric ultrasound imaging system have shown that the local maximum detected value of the speckle signal may be identified and tracked for measuring velocities typical of human blood flow. The limitations of feature tracking, including the uncertainty of the peak location and the duration of the local maxima arc discussed. An analysis of the expected error using this method is given. © 1996 IEEE.
Bashford, GR; Von Ramm, OT
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