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.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of SPIE|
|Editors||Johan G. Bosch, Neb Duric|
|Number of pages||9|
|Publisher||SPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|
|Event||SPIE Medical Imaging 2015 - Orlando, United States|
Duration: 21 Feb 2015 → 26 Feb 2015
|Conference||SPIE Medical Imaging 2015|
|Period||21/02/2015 → 26/02/2015|
|Series||Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering|
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- Real-time volumetric ultrasound imaging
- 2-D phased array transducer
- Synthetic aperture (SA)