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Accelerated focused ultrasound imaging

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4 Author(s)
Madore, B. ; Med. Sch., Dept. of Radiol., Harvard Univ., Boston, MA, USA ; White, P.J. ; Thomenius, K. ; Clement, G.T.

One of the most basic trade-offs in ultrasound imaging involves frame rate, depth, and number of lines. Achieving good spatial resolution and coverage requires a large number of lines, leading to decreases in frame rate. An even more serious imaging challenge occurs with imaging modes involving spatial compounding and 3-D/4-D imaging, which are severely limited by the slow speed of sound in tissue. The present work can overcome these traditional limitations, making ultrasound imaging many-fold faster. By emitting several beams at once, and by separating the resulting overlapped signals through spatial and temporal processing, spatial resolution and/or coverage can be increased by many-fold while leaving frame rates unaffected. The proposed approach can also be extended to imaging strategies that do not involve transmit beamforming, such as synthetic aperture imaging. Simulated and experimental results are presented where imaging speed is improved by up to 32-fold, with little impact on image quality. Object complexity has little impact on the method's performance, and data from biological systems can readily be handled. The present work may open the door to novel multiplexed and/or multidimensional protocols considered impractical today.

Published in:

Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:56 ,  Issue: 12 )