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Improved parametric imaging of scatterer size estimates using angular compounding

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3 Author(s)
Gerig, A.L. ; Wisconsin Univ., Madison, WI, USA ; Varghese, T. ; Zagzebski, J.A.

The feasibility of estimating and imaging scatterer size using backscattered ultrasound signals and spectral analysis techniques was demonstrated previously. In many cases, size estimation, although computationally intensive, has proven to be useful for monitoring, diagnosing, and studying disease. However, a difficulty that is encountered in imaging scatterer size is the large estimator variance caused by statistical fluctuations in echo signals from random media. This paper presents an approach for reducing these statistical uncertainties. Multiple scatterer size estimates are generated for each image pixel using data acquired from several different directions. These estimates are subsequently compounded to yield a single estimate that has a reduced variance. In this feasibility study, compounding was achieved by translating a sectored-array transducer in a direction parallel to the acquired image plane. Angular compounding improved the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in scatterer size images. The improvement is proportional to the square root of the effective number of statistically independent views available for each image pixel.

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Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:51 ,  Issue: 6 )