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High frequency ultrasound over 40 MHz has been used to image the anterior segment of the eye, but it is not suitable for the posterior segment due to the frequency-dependent attenuation of ultrasound and thus the limitation of penetration depth. This paper proposes a novel scan method to image the posterior segment of the eye with an angled high frequency (beyond 40 MHz) ultrasound needle transducer. In this method, the needle transducer is inserted into the eye through a small incision hole (~1 mm in diameter) and rotated around the axial direction to form a cone-shaped imaging plane, allowing the spatial information of retinal vessels and diagnosis of their occlusion to be displayed. The feasibility of this novel technique was tested with images of a wire phantom, a polyimide tube, and an excised pig eye obtained by manually rotating a 40 MHz PMN-PT needle transducer with a beveled tip of 45deg. From the results, we believe that rotational scan imaging will help expand the minimally invasive applications of high frequency ultrasound to other areas due to the capability of increased closeness of an angled needle transducer to structures of interest buried in other tissues.
Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:56 , Issue: 3 )
Date of Publication: March 2009