Fast simulation of ultrasound images

Jørgen Arendt Jensen, Svetoslav Nikolov

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Realistic B-mode and flow images can be simulated with scattering maps based on optical, CT, or MR images or parametric flow models. The image simulation often includes using 200,000 to 1 million point scatterers. One image line typically takes 1800 seconds to compute on a state-of-the-art PC, and a whole image can take a full day. Simulating 3D images and 3D flow takes even more time. A 3D image of 64 by 64 lines can take 21 days, which is not practical for iterative work. This paper presents a new fast simulation method based on the Field II program. In imaging the same spatial impulse response is calculated for each of the image lines, and making 100 lines, thus, gives 100 calculations of the same impulse response delayed differently for the different lines. Doing the focusing after this point in the simulation can make the calculation faster. This corresponds to full synthetic aperture imaging. The received response from each element is calculated, when emitting with each of the elements in the aperture, and then the responses are subsequently focused. This is the approach taken in this paper using a modified version of the Field II program. A 64 element array, thus, gives 4096 responses. For a 7 MHz 64 element linear array the simulation time for one image line is 471 seconds for 200,000 scatterers on a 800 MHz AMD Athlon PC, corresponding to 17 hours for one image with 128 lines. Using the new approach, the computation time is 10,963 seconds, and the beamforming time is 9 seconds, which makes the approach 5.5 times faster. For 3D images with 64 by 64 lines, the total conventional simulation time for one volume is 517 hours, whereas the new approach makes the simulation in 6,810 seconds. The time for beamforming is 288 seconds, and the new approach is, thus, 262 times faster. The simulation can also be split among a number of PCs for speeding up the simulation. A full 3D one second volume simulation then takes 7,500 seconds on a 32 CPU 600 MHz Pentium III PC cluster.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings on Ultrasonics Symposium
Place of PublicationSan Juan
Publication date2000
ISBN (Print)0-7803-6365-5
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Event2000 IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium - San Juan, Puerto Rico
Duration: 22 Oct 200025 Oct 2000


Conference2000 IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium
CountryPuerto Rico
CitySan Juan
Internet address

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