Resolving Ultrasound Contrast Microbubbles using Minimum Variance Beamforming

Konstantinos Diamantis, Tom Anderson, Mairead B. Butler, Carlos Armando Villagómez Hoyos, Jørgen Arendt Jensen, Vassilis Sboros*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Minimum Variance (MV) beamforming is known to improve the lateral resolution of ultrasound images and enhance the separation of isolated point scatterers. This paper aims to evaluate the adaptive beamformer’s performance with flowing microbubbles (MBs), which are relevant to super-resolution ultrasound imaging. Simulations using point scatterer data from single emissions were complemented by an experimental investigation performed using a capillary tube phantom and the Synthetic Aperture Real-time Ultrasound System (SARUS). The MV performance was assessed by the minimum distance that allows the display of two scatterers positioned side-by-side, the lateral Full- Width-Half-Maximum (FWHM), and the Peak-Side-lobe-Level (PSL). In the tube, scatterer responses separated by down to 196 μm (or 1.05λ) were distinguished by the MV method, while the standard Delay-and-Sum (DAS) beamformers were unable to achieve such separation. Up to 9-fold FWHM decrease was also measured in favour of the MV beamformer, for individual echoes from MBs. The lateral distance between two scatterers impacted on their FWHM value, and additional differences in the scatterers’ axial or out-of-plane position also impacted on their size and appearance. The simulation and experimental results were in agreement in terms of lateral resolution. The point scatterer study showed that the proposed MV imaging scheme provided clear resolution benefits compared to DAS. Current super-resolution methods mainly depend on DAS beamformers. Instead, the use of the MV method may provide a larger number of detected, and potentially better localized, MB scatterers.
Original languageEnglish
JournalI E E E Transactions on Medical Imaging
Volume38
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)194-204
ISSN0278-0062
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Closely-spaced scatterers
  • Microbubbles
  • Minimum Variance beamforming
  • Lateral resolution
  • Super-resolution ultrasound

Cite this

Diamantis, Konstantinos ; Anderson, Tom ; Butler, Mairead B. ; Villagómez Hoyos, Carlos Armando ; Jensen, Jørgen Arendt ; Sboros, Vassilis. / Resolving Ultrasound Contrast Microbubbles using Minimum Variance Beamforming. In: I E E E Transactions on Medical Imaging. 2019 ; Vol. 38, No. 1. pp. 194-204 .
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abstract = "Minimum Variance (MV) beamforming is known to improve the lateral resolution of ultrasound images and enhance the separation of isolated point scatterers. This paper aims to evaluate the adaptive beamformer’s performance with flowing microbubbles (MBs), which are relevant to super-resolution ultrasound imaging. Simulations using point scatterer data from single emissions were complemented by an experimental investigation performed using a capillary tube phantom and the Synthetic Aperture Real-time Ultrasound System (SARUS). The MV performance was assessed by the minimum distance that allows the display of two scatterers positioned side-by-side, the lateral Full- Width-Half-Maximum (FWHM), and the Peak-Side-lobe-Level (PSL). In the tube, scatterer responses separated by down to 196 μm (or 1.05λ) were distinguished by the MV method, while the standard Delay-and-Sum (DAS) beamformers were unable to achieve such separation. Up to 9-fold FWHM decrease was also measured in favour of the MV beamformer, for individual echoes from MBs. The lateral distance between two scatterers impacted on their FWHM value, and additional differences in the scatterers’ axial or out-of-plane position also impacted on their size and appearance. The simulation and experimental results were in agreement in terms of lateral resolution. The point scatterer study showed that the proposed MV imaging scheme provided clear resolution benefits compared to DAS. Current super-resolution methods mainly depend on DAS beamformers. Instead, the use of the MV method may provide a larger number of detected, and potentially better localized, MB scatterers.",
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author = "Konstantinos Diamantis and Tom Anderson and Butler, {Mairead B.} and {Villag{\'o}mez Hoyos}, {Carlos Armando} and Jensen, {J{\o}rgen Arendt} and Vassilis Sboros",
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Diamantis, K, Anderson, T, Butler, MB, Villagómez Hoyos, CA, Jensen, JA & Sboros, V 2019, 'Resolving Ultrasound Contrast Microbubbles using Minimum Variance Beamforming', I E E E Transactions on Medical Imaging, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 194-204 . https://doi.org/10.1109/TMI.2018.2859262

Resolving Ultrasound Contrast Microbubbles using Minimum Variance Beamforming. / Diamantis, Konstantinos; Anderson, Tom; Butler, Mairead B. ; Villagómez Hoyos, Carlos Armando; Jensen, Jørgen Arendt; Sboros, Vassilis.

In: I E E E Transactions on Medical Imaging, Vol. 38, No. 1, 2019, p. 194-204 .

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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AU - Diamantis, Konstantinos

AU - Anderson, Tom

AU - Butler, Mairead B.

AU - Villagómez Hoyos, Carlos Armando

AU - Jensen, Jørgen Arendt

AU - Sboros, Vassilis

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KW - Closely-spaced scatterers

KW - Microbubbles

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KW - Lateral resolution

KW - Super-resolution ultrasound

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