Skip to Main Content
Several investigators have characterized various forms of heart disease from the statistical properties of envelopes of ultrasonic echos from myocardium. In particular, the mean-to-standard deviation ratio (MSR), skewness, and kurtosis of the envelope probability density function have been used for the detection of myocardial ischemia, infarction, reperfusion, and hypertrophy. In this paper, the effects of phenomena other than tissue acoustic properties upon estimates of statistical parameters are investigated. These include system characteristics (center frequency, bandwidth, beam width, etc.), sample volume dimensions, and tissue velocity. In myocardium, relatively small amounts of tissue are available for interrogation. It is shown that, under these limited data acquisition conditions, substantial systematic biases in the estimates of statistical parameters may occur. Analytic forms for errors in the envelope variance estimate are derived. Estimation of the envelope mean, variance, MSR, skewness, and kurtosis is investigated experimentally, using a commercial medical ultrasound scanner and a tissue-mimicking phantom.