Characterizing acoustic attenuation of homogeneous media using focused impulsive acoustic radiation force.
A new method to characterize a material's attenuation using acoustic radiation force is proposed. Comparison of displacement magnitudes generated in a homogeneous material by acoustic radiation force excitations can be used to estimate the material's attenuation when the excitations are applied over a range of focal depths while maintaining a constant lateral focal configuration. Acoustic attenuations are related to the inverse of the excitation focal depth that yields the greatest focal zone displacement for this protocol. Experimental studies in calibrated tissue-mimicking phantoms are presented to demonstrate the feasibility of this method. Attenuations ranging from 0.3-1.5 dB/cm/MHz were characterized over excitation focal depths ranging from 5-30 mm, with an accuracy of 0.1 +/- 0.15 dB/cm/MHz. As currently implemented, this method is limited to characterizing materials that have homogeneous material properties and acoustic attenuations. This method for characterizing acoustic attenuation can be performed using conventional diagnostic scanners without any additional hardware and could also be performed concurrently with acoustic radiation force-based imaging modalities to generate images of mechanical properties and attenuation that are spatially co-registered with B-mode images.
Palmeri, ML; Frinkley, KD; Oldenburg, KG; Nightingale, KR
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