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In this paper, a new compounded direct pixel beamforming (CDPB) method is presented to remove blurring artifacts introduced by ultrasound scan conversion. In CDPB, receive focusing is directly performed on each display pixel in Cartesian coordinates using the raw RF data from adjacent transmit firings so that artifacts from the scan conversion can be removed. In addition, the energy variations resulting from the distance between the transmit scanline and display pixel are compensated by utilizing the gain factor obtained from the ultrasound beam pattern. The proposed CDPB method was evaluated using simulation and in vivo liver data acquired by a commercial ultrasound machine equipped with a research package. The experimental results showed that the proposed CDPB method improved the information entropy contrast (IEC) by 23.6% compared with the conventional scan conversion method and it reduced the blocking artifacts factor (BAF) by 16.4% over the direct pixel-based focusing method. These results indicate the proposed new direct pixel beamforming method could be used to enhance image quality in medical ultrasound imaging.
Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:59 , Issue: 3 )
Date of Publication: March 2012