Frame rate considerations for real-time abdominal acoustic radiation force impulse imaging.
With the advent of real-time Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse (ARFI) imaging, elevated frame rates are both desirable and relevant from a clinical perspective. However, fundamental limitations on frame rates are imposed by thermal safety concerns related to incident radiation force pulses. Abdominal ARFI imaging utilizes a curvilinear scanning geometry that results in markedly different tissue heating patterns than those previously studied for linear arrays or mechanically-translated concave transducers. Finite Element Method (FEM) models were used to simulate these tissue heating patterns and to analyze the impact of tissue heating on frame rates available for abdominal ARFI imaging. A perfusion model was implemented to account for cooling effects due to blood flow and frame rate limitations were evaluated in the presence of normal, reduced and negligible tissue perfusions. Conventional ARFI acquisition techniques were also compared to ARFI imaging with parallel receive tracking in terms of thermal efficiency. Additionally, thermocouple measurements of transducer face temperature increases were acquired to assess the frame rate limitations imposed by cumulative heating of the imaging array. Frame rates sufficient for many abdominal imaging applications were found to be safely achievable utilizing available ARFI imaging techniques.
Fahey, BJ; Palmeri, ML; Trahey, GE
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