Synthetic Aperture Sequential Beamforming (SASB) is a technique with low complexity and the ability to yield a more uniform lateral resolution with range. However, the presence of speckle artifacts in ultrasound images degrades the contrast. In conventional imaging speckle is reduced by using spatial compounding at the cost of a reduced frame rate. The objective is to apply spatial compounding to SASB and evaluate if the images have a reduced speckle appearance and thereby an improved image quality in terms of contrast compared to ordinary SASB. Using the simulation software Field II, RF data are acquired for a phantom with cysts at different sizes and scattering levels. 192 scanlines are recorded for five steering angles (0, 2, 4 degrees) using a 192 element linear array transducer. SASB is performed for each angle using a rectangular grid in the second stage beamformation. After envelope detection the five second stage images are added to form the compounded image. Using a ProFocus scanner and the 8804 linear array transducer (BK Medical, Herlev, Denmark) measurements of a phantom containing water filled cysts are obtained to validate the simulation results. The setup is the same as in the simulations and SASB second stage beamformation data are processed offline for each of the five angles. Contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) and speckle-to-noise ratio (SNR) are extracted for the compounded image and the reference image (ordinary SASB). CNR was calculated for the simulated cysts at depths of 40, 50, 60, 70 and 80 mm. On average the CNR was improved by 33.2% compared to the values obtained from the reference image. For regions of increasing depth SNR was on average increased by 9.3%. Results from the simulation were confirmed by calculations on the measured data. CNR of cysts at depths from 18 to 78 mm with a separation of 10 mm was on average improved by 45.9%. On average an improvement of 16.6% in SNR was obtained. The calculations along with visual inspection revealed larger improvements in deeper regions, and the compounded image for the measured phantom showed a 3 mm diameter cyst not detectable in the reference image. Compounding applied to SASB improves CNR and SNR results in images with a reduced speckle appearance. This was shown for simulations and confirmed on measured data.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of 2011 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium|
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|
|Event||2011 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium - Caribe Royale, Orlando, FL, United States|
Duration: 18 Oct 2011 → 21 Oct 2011
|Conference||2011 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium|
|Period||18/10/2011 → 21/10/2011|