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Therapeutic and diagnostic ultrasound procedures performed noninvasively through the skull require a reliable method for maintaining acoustic focus integrity after transmission through layered bone structures. This study used a multiple-element, phased-array transducer to reconstruct ultrasound foci through the human skull by amplitude and phase correction. It was previously demonstrated that adaptive phase correction using a multiple-element, focused transducer array yields a significant correction to an acoustic field that has been distorted by the heterogeneities of the skull bone. The introduction of amplitude correction, in a regime in which acoustic pressures from individual transducer array elements are adjusted to be normalized at the focus, has demonstrated a 6% (-0.27 dB) average decrease in acoustic sidelobe acoustic intensity relative to the focal intensity and a 2% (-0.09 dB) average decrease in the full-width-at-half-maximum (FWHM) of the acoustic intensity profile at the focus. These improvements come at the expense of significant ultrasound intensity loss - as much as 30% lower (-1.55 dB) - at the focus because the amplitude correction method requires that, at constant power, a larger proportion of energy is absorbed or reflected by regions of the skull that transmit less energy. In contrast, a second correction method that distributes pressure amplitudes such that the sections of the skull which transmit more ultrasound energy are exposed with higher ultrasound intensities has demonstrated an average sidelobe intensity decrease of 3% (-0.13 dB) with no change in the FWHM at the focus. On average, there was a 2% (0.09 dB) increase in the acoustic intensity at the focus for this inverse amplitude correction method. These results indicate that amplitude correction according to the transmission properties of various segments of the skull have a clear effect on ultrasound energy throughput into a target site within the brain parenchyma.
Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:52 , Issue: 9 )
Date of Publication: Sept. 2005