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Time-domain calculation of spectral centroid from backscattered ultrasound signals

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2 Author(s)
Hyungsuk Kim ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Kwangwoon Univ., Seoul, South Korea ; Seo Weon Heo

Spectral centroid estimation from backscattered ultrasound RF signals is the preliminary step for quantitative ultrasound analysis in many medical applications. The traditional approach of estimating the spectral centroid in the frequency domain takes a long time because discrete Fourier transform (DFT) processing for each RF segment is required. To avoid this, we propose time-domain methods to estimate the spectral centroid in this paper. First, we derive the continuous-time-domain equations for the spectral centroid estimation using Parseval's theorem and Hilbert transform theory. Then, we extend the method to the discrete-time domain to ease the implementation while maintaining the same accuracy as the calculation in the frequency domain. From the result, we observe that it is not practical to apply the discrete-time equations directly, because a high sampling rate is needed to approximate the time derivative in the discrete-time domain. Therefore, we also derive the feasible version of the discrete- time equations using a circular autocorrelation function, which has no constraints on the sampling rate for real RF signals acquired from pulse-echo ultrasound systems. Simulation results using numerical phantoms show that the time-domain calculation is approximately 4.4 times faster on average than the frequency-domain method when the software's built-in functions were used. The average estimation error compared with that of the frequency-domain method using DFT is less than 0.2% for the entire propagation depths. The proposed time-domain approach to estimate the spectral centroid can be easily implemented in real-time ultrasound systems.

Published in:

Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:59 ,  Issue: 6 )