In Vivo Real Time Volumetric Synthetic Aperture Ultrasound Imaging

Hamed Bouzari, Morten Fischer Rasmussen, Andreas Hjelm Brandt, Matthias Bo Stuart, Svetoslav Nikolov, Jørgen Arendt Jensen

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Synthetic aperture (SA) imaging can be used to achieve real-time volumetric ultrasound imaging using 2-D array transducers. The sensitivity of SA imaging is improved by maximizing the acoustic output, but one must consider the limitations of an ultrasound system, both technical and biological. This paper investigates the in vivo applicability and sensitivity of volumetric SA imaging. Utilizing the transmit events to generate a set of virtual point sources, a frame rate of 25 Hz for a 90° x 90° field-of-view was achieved. Data were obtained using a 3.5 MHz 32 x 32 elements 2-D phased array transducer connected to the experimental scanner (SARUS). Proper scaling is applied to the excitation signal such that intensity levels are in compliance with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations for in vivo ultrasound imaging. The measured Mechanical Index and spatial-peak- temporal-average intensity for parallel beamforming (PB) are 0.83 and 377.5mW/cm2, and for SA are 0.48 and 329.5mW/cm2. A human kidney was volumetrically imaged with SA and PB techniques simultaneously. Two radiologists for evaluation of the volumetric SA were consulted by means of a questionnaire on the level of details perceivable in the beamformed images. The comparison was against PB based on the in vivo data. The feedback from the domain experts indicates that volumetric SA images internal body structures with a better contrast resolution compared to PB at all positions in the entire imaged volume. Furthermore, the autocovariance of a homogeneous area in the in vivo SA data, had 23.5% smaller width at the half of its maximum value compared to PB.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE
EditorsJohan G. Bosch, Neb Duric
Number of pages9
PublisherSPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication date2015
Article number94190I
ISBN (Electronic)9781628415094
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventSPIE Medical Imaging 2015 - Orlando, United States
Duration: 21 Feb 201526 Feb 2015


ConferenceSPIE Medical Imaging 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address
SeriesProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2015 Society of Photo Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic electronic or print reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.


  • Real-time volumetric ultrasound imaging
  • 2-D phased array transducer
  • Synthetic aperture (SA)


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