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Noninvasive measurement of mechanical properties, such as elasticity, of the arterial wall, is useful for diagnosis of atherosclerosis. The elasticity of the arterial wall can be estimated by combining measurement of displacement of the arterial wall with that of blood pressure. In general, the displacement of the arterial wall is estimated from the phase shift of radio frequency (RF) echoes between two consecutive frames using a correlation estimator with quadrature demodulated complex signals. Recently, digitized data of broadband RF echoes are available in modern diagnostic equipment. The Fourier transform can be used to estimate the phase of the RF echo at each frequency within the RF frequency bandwidth. Therefore, the phase shifts between RF echoes of two consecutive frames can be estimated at multiple frequencies. In this estimation, due to object displacement, the RF echo is time shifted in comparison with that of the previous frame. However, the position of the time window for the Fourier transform is not changed between two consecutive frames. This change in relative position between the RF echo and the time window has a strong influence on the estimation of the artery-wall displacement, resulting in error. To suppress this error, the phase shift should be estimated at the actual RF center frequency. In this paper, this error suppression was investigated through simulation experiments and in vivo experiments on the human carotid artery.
Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:53 , Issue: 1 )
Date of Publication: Jan. 2006