A novel imaging technique based on the spatial coherence of backscattered waves: Demonstration in the presence of acoustical clutter
In the last 20 years, the number of suboptimal and inadequate ultrasound exams has increased. This trend has been linked to the increasing population of overweight and obese individuals. The primary causes of image degradation in these individuals are often attributed to phase aberration and clutter. Phase aberration degrades image quality by distorting the transmitted and received pressure waves, while clutter degrades image quality by introducing incoherent acoustical interference into the received pressure wavefront. Although significant research efforts have pursued the correction of image degradation due to phase aberration, few efforts have characterized or corrected image degradation due to clutter. We have developed a novel imaging technique that is capable of differentiating ultrasonic signals corrupted by acoustical interference. The technique, named short-lag spatial coherence (SLSC) imaging, is based on the spatial coherence of the received ultrasonic wavefront at small spatial distances across the transducer aperture. We demonstrate comparative B-mode and SLSC images using full-wave simulations that include the effects of clutter and show that SLSC imaging generates contrast-to-noise ratios (CNR) and signal-to-noise ratios (SNR) that are significantly better than B-mode imaging under noise-free conditions. In the presence of noise, SLSC imaging significantly outperforms conventional B-mode imaging in all image quality metrics. We demonstrate the use of SLSC imaging in vivo and compare B-mode and SLSC images of human thyroid and liver. © 2011 Copyright Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).
Dahl, JJ; Pinton, GF; Lediju, M; Trahey, GE
Volume / Issue
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)