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PSF dedicated to estimation of displacement vectors for tissue elasticity imaging with ultrasound

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5 Author(s)

This paper investigates a new approach devoted to displacement vector estimation in ultrasound imaging. The main idea is to adapt the image formation to a given displacement estimation method to increase the precision of the estimation. The displacement is identified as the zero crossing of the phase of the complex cross-correlation between signals extracted from the lateral direction of the ultrasound RF image. For precise displacement estimation, a linearity of the phase slope is needed as well as a high phase slope. Consequently, a particular point spread function (PSF) dedicated to this estimator is designed. This PSF, showing oscillations in the lateral direction, leads to synthesis of lateral RF signals. The estimation is included in a 2-D displacement vector estimation method. The improvement of this approach is evaluated quantitatively by simulation studies. A comparison with a speckle tracking technique is also presented. The lateral oscillations improve both the speckle tracking estimation and our 2-D estimation method. Using our dedicated images, the precision of the estimation is improved by reducing the standard deviation of the lateral displacement error by a factor of 2 for speckle tracking and more than 3 with our method compared to using conventional images. Our method performs 7 times better than speckle tracking. Experimentally, the improvement in the case of a pure lateral translation reaches a factor of 7. Finally, the experimental feasibility of the 2-D displacement vector estimation is demonstrated on data acquired from a Cryogel phantom

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Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:54 ,  Issue: 4 )