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An approach based on limited-angle transmission tomography for reconstruction of the sound velocity distribution in the breast is proposed. The imaging setup is similar to that of X-ray mammography. With this setup, the time-of-flight data are acquired by a linear array positioned at the top of the compressed breast that both transmits and receives, and a metal plate is placed at the bottom as a reflector. The setup allows acoustic data acquisition for simultaneous B-mode image formation and the tomographic sound velocity reconstruction. In order to improve the sound velocity estimation accuracy, a new reconstruction algorithm based on a convex programming formulation has been developed. Extensive simulations for both imaging and time-of-flight data based on a 5-MHz linear array were performed on tissues with different geometries and acoustic parameters. Results show that the sound velocity error was generally 1-3 m/s, with a maximum of 5.8 m/s. The radii of the objects under investigation varied from 2 to 6 mm, and all of them were detected successfully. Thus, the proposed approach has been shown to be both feasible and accurate. The approach can be used to complement conventional B-mode imaging to further enhance the detection of breast cancer.
Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:51 , Issue: 3 )
Date of Publication: March 2004