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Temperature imaging with a non-invasive modality to monitor the heating of tumors during hyperthermia treatment is an attractive alternative to sparse invasive measurement. Previously, we predicted monotonic changes in backscattered energy (CBE) of ultrasound with temperature for certain sub-wavelength scatterers. We also measured CBE values similar to our predictions in bovine liver, turkey breast muscle, and pork rib muscle in 2-D in vitro studies and in nude mice during 2-D in vivo studies. To extend these studies to three dimensions, we compensated for motion and measured CBE in turkey breast muscle. 3-D data sets were assembled from images formed by a phased-array imager with a 7.5-MHz linear probe moved in 0.6-mm steps in elevation during uniform heating from 37 to 45°C in 0.5°C increments. We used cross-correlation as a similarity measure in RF signals to automatically track feature displacement as a function of temperature. Feature displacement was non-rigid. Envelopes of image regions, compensated for non-rigid motion, were found with the Hilbert transform then smoothed with a 3 × 3 running average filter before forming the backscattered energy at each pixel. CBE in 3-D motion-compensated images was nearly linear with an average sensitivity of 0.30 dB/°C. 3-D estimation of temperature in separate tissue regions had errors with a maximum standard deviation of about 0.5°C over 1-cm3 volumes. Success of CBE temperature estimation based on 3-D non-rigid tracking and compensation for real and apparent motion of image features could serve as the foundation for the eventual generation of 3-D temperature maps in soft tissue in a non-invasive, convenient, and low-cost way in clinical hyperthermia.
Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:57 , Issue: 8 )
Date of Publication: August 2010