In vivo application of short-lag spatial coherence imaging in human liver.
We present the results of a patient study conducted to assess the performance of two novel imaging methods, namely short-lag spatial coherence (SLSC) and harmonic spatial coherence imaging (HSCI), in an in vivo liver environment. Similar in appearance to the B-mode images, SLSC and HSCI images are based solely on the spatial coherence of fundamental and harmonic echo data, respectively, and do not depend on the echo magnitude. SLSC and HSCI suppress incoherent echo signals and thus tend to reduce clutter. The SLSC and HSCI images of 17 patients demonstrated sharper delineation of blood vessel walls, suppressed clutter inside the vessel lumen, and showed reduced speckle in surrounding tissue compared to matched B-modes. Target contrast and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) show statistically significant improvements between fundamental B-mode and SLSC imaging and between harmonic B-mode and HSCI imaging (in all cases p < 0.001). The magnitude of improvement in contrast and CNR increases as the overall quality of B-mode images decreases. Poor-quality fundamental B-mode images (where image quality classification is based on both contrast and CNR) exhibit the highest improvements in both contrast and CNR (288% improvement in contrast and 533% improvement in CNR).
Jakovljevic, M; Trahey, GE; Nelson, RC; Dahl, JJ
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