Simultaneous bilateral real-time 3-d transcranial ultrasound imaging at 1 MHz through poor acoustic windows.
Ultrasound imaging has been proposed as a rapid, portable alternative imaging modality to examine stroke patients in pre-hospital or emergency room settings. However, in performing transcranial ultrasound examinations, 8%-29% of patients in a general population may present with window failure, in which case it is not possible to acquire clinically useful sonographic information through the temporal bone acoustic window. In this work, we describe the technical considerations, design and fabrication of low-frequency (1.2 MHz), large aperture (25.3 mm) sparse matrix array transducers for 3-D imaging in the event of window failure. These transducers are integrated into a system for real-time 3-D bilateral transcranial imaging-the ultrasound brain helmet-and color flow imaging capabilities at 1.2 MHz are directly compared with arrays operating at 1.8 MHz in a flow phantom with attenuation comparable to the in vivo case. Contrast-enhanced imaging allowed visualization of arteries of the Circle of Willis in 5 of 5 subjects and 8 of 10 sides of the head despite probe placement outside of the acoustic window. Results suggest that this type of transducer may allow acquisition of useful images either in individuals with poor windows or outside of the temporal acoustic window in the field.
Lindsey, BD; Nicoletto, HA; Bennett, ER; Laskowitz, DT; Smith, SW
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