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Parametric spectral estimators can potentially be used to obtain flow estimates directly from raw slow-time ensembles whose clutter has not been suppressed. We present a new eigen-based parametric flow estimation method called the matrix pencil, whose principles are based on a matrix form under the same name. The presented method models the slow-time signal as a sum of dominant complex sinusoids in the slow-time ensemble, and it computes the principal Doppler frequencies by using a generalized eigenvalue problem formulation and matrix rank reduction principles. Both fixed-rank (rank-one, rank-two) and adaptive-rank matrix pencil flow estimators are proposed, and their potential applicability to color flow signal processing is discussed. For the adaptive-rank estimator, the nominal rank was defined as the minimum eigen-structure rank that yields principal frequency estimates with a spread greater than a prescribed bandwidth. In our initial performance evaluation, the fixed-rank matrix pencil estimators were applied to raw color flow data (transmit frequency: 5 MHz; pulse repetition period: 0.175 ms; ensemble size: 14) acquired from a steady flow phantom (70 cm/s at centerline) that was surrounded by rigid-tissue-mimicking material. These fixed-rank estimators produced velocity maps that are well correlated with the theoretical flow profile (correlation coefficient: 0.964 to 0.975). To facilitate further evaluation, the matrix pencil estimators were applied to synthetic slow-time data (transmit frequency: 5 MHz; pulse repetition period: 1.0 ms; ensemble size: 10) modeling flow scenarios without and with tissue motion (up to 1 cm/s). The bias and root-mean-squared error of the estimators were computed as a function of blood-signal-to-noise ratio and blood velocity. The matrix pencil flow estimators showed that they are comparatively less biased than most of the existing frequency-based flow estimators like the lag-one autocorrelator.
Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:55 , Issue: 3 )
Date of Publication: March 2008