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Harmonic spatial coherence imaging: an ultrasonic imaging method based on backscatter coherence

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4 Author(s)
Dahl, J.J. ; Dept. of Biomed. Eng., Duke Univ., Durham, NC, USA ; Jakovljevic, M. ; Pinton, G.F. ; Trahey, G.E.

We introduce a harmonic version of the short-lag spatial coherence (SLSC) imaging technique, called harmonic spatial coherence imaging (HSCI). The method is based on the coherence of the second-harmonic backscatter. Because the same signals that are used to construct harmonic B-mode images are also used to construct HSCI images, the benefits obtained with harmonic imaging are also obtained with HSCI. Harmonic imaging has been the primary tool for suppressing clutter in diagnostic ultrasound imaging, however secondharmonic echoes are not necessarily immune to the effects of clutter. HSCI and SLSC imaging are less sensitive to clutter because clutter has low spatial coherence. HSCI shows favorable imaging characteristics such as improved contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), improved speckle SNR, and better delineation of borders and other structures compared with fundamental and harmonic B-mode imaging. CNRs of up to 1.9 were obtained from in vivo imaging of human cardiac tissue with HSCI, compared with 0.6, 0.9, and 1.5 in fundamental B-mode, harmonic B-mode, and SLSC imaging, respectively. In vivo experiments in human liver tissue demonstrated SNRs of up to 3.4 for HSCI compared with 1.9 for harmonic B-mode. Nonlinear simulations of a heart chamber model were consistent with the in vivo experiments.

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Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:59 ,  Issue: 4 )