Short-lag spatial coherence imaging of cardiac ultrasound data: initial clinical results.
Short-lag spatial coherence (SLSC) imaging is a novel beamforming technique that reduces acoustic clutter in ultrasound images. A clinical study was conducted to investigate clutter reduction and endocardial border detection in cardiac SLSC images. Individual channel echo data were acquired from the left ventricle of 14 volunteers, after informed consent and institutional review board approval. Paired B-mode and SLSC images were created from these data. Contrast, contrast-to-noise, and signal-to-noise ratios were measured in paired images, and these metrics were improved with SLSC imaging in most cases. Three cardiology fellows rated the visibility of endocardial segments in randomly ordered B-mode and SLSC cine loops. SLSC imaging offered 22%-33% improvement (p < 0.05) in endocardial border visibility when B-mode image quality was poor (i.e., 80% or more of the endocardial segments could not be visualized by the three reviewers). The percentage of volunteers with poor-quality images was decreased from 21% to 7% with the SLSC beamformer. Results suggest that SLSC imaging has the potential to improve clinical cardiac assessments that are challenged by clutter.
Lediju Bell, MA; Goswami, R; Kisslo, JA; Dahl, JJ; Trahey, GE
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