Skip to Main Content
Broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA) is a clinically proven indicator of osteoporotic fracture risk. BUA measurements are typically performed in through- transmission with single-element phase sensitive (PS) receivers and therefore can be compromised by phase cancellation artifact. Phase-insensitive (PI) receivers suppress phase cancellation artifact. To study the effect of phase cancellation on BUA measurements, through-transmission measurements were performed on 16 human calcaneus samples in vitro using a two-dimensional receiver array that enabled PS and PI BUA estimation. The means plus or minus standard deviations for BUA measurements were 22.1 plusmn 15.8 dB/MHz (PS) and 17.6 plusmn 7.2 dB/MHz (PI), suggesting that, on the average, approximately 20% of PS BUA values in vitro can be attributed to phase cancellation artifact. Therefore, although cortical plates are often regarded as the primary source of phase cancellation artifact, the heterogeneity of cancellous bone in the calcaneal interior may also be a significant source. Backscatter coefficient estimates in human calcaneus that are based on PS attenuation compensation overestimate 1) average magnitude of backscatter coefficient at 500 kHz by a factor of about 1.6 plusmn 0.3 and 2) average exponent (n) of frequency dependence by about 0.34 plusmn 0.12 (where backscatter coefficient is fit to a power law form proportional to frequency to the nth power).