2-D motion estimation using two parallel receive beams.
We describe a method for estimating 2-D target motion using ultrasound. The method is based on previous ensemble tracking techniques, which required at least four parallel receive beams and 2-D pattern matching. In contrast, the method described requires only two parallel receive beams and 1-D pattern matching. Two 1-D searches are performed, one in each lateral direction. The direction yielding the best match indicates the lateral direction of motion. Interpolation provides sub-pixel magnitude resolution. We compared the two beam method with the four beam method using a translating speckle target at three different parallel beam steering angles and transducer angles of 0, 45, and 90 degrees. The largest differences were found at 90 degrees, where the two beam method was generally more accurate and precise than the four beam method and also less prone to directional errors at small translations. We also examined the performance of both methods in a laminar flow phantom. Results indicated that the two beam method was more accurate in measuring the flow angle when the flow velocity was small. Computer simulations supported the experimental findings. The poorer performance of the four beam method was attributed to differences in correlation among the parallel beams. Specifically, center beams 2 and 3 correlated better with each other than with the outer beams. Because the four beam method used a comparison of a kernel region in beam pair 2-3 with two different beam pairs 1-2 and 3-4, the 2-to-1 and 3-to-4 components of this comparison increased the incidence of directional errors, especially at small translations. The two beam method used a comparison between only two beams and so was not subject to this source of error. Finally, the two beam method did not require amplitude normalization, as was necessary for the four beam method, when the two beams were chosen symmetric to the transmit axis. We conclude that two beam ensemble tracking can accurately estimate motion using only two parallel receive beams.
Bohs, LN; Gebhart, SC; Anderson, ME; Geiman, BJ; Trahey, GE
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