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Ultrasonic backscatter signals provide useful information relevant to bone tissue characterization. Trabecular bone microstructures have been considered as quasi-periodic tissues with a collection of regular and diffuse scatterers. This paper investigates the potential of a novel technique using a simplified inverse filter tracking (SIFT) algorithm to estimate mean trabecular bone spacing (MTBS) from ultrasonic backscatter signals. In contrast to other frequency-based methods, the SIFT algorithm is a time-based method and utilizes the amplitude and phase information of backscatter echoes, thus retaining the advantages of both the autocorrelation and the cepstral analysis techniques. The SIFT algorithm was applied to backscatter signals from simulations, phantoms, and bovine trabeculae in vitro. The estimated MTBS results were compared with those of the autoregressive (AR) cepstrum and quadratic transformation (QT) . The SIFT estimates are better than the AR cepstrum estimates and are comparable with the QT values. The study demonstrates that the SIFT algorithm has the potential to be a reliable and robust method for the estimation of MTBS in the presence of a small signal-to-noise ratio, a large spacing variation between regular scatterers, and a large scattering strength ratio of diffuse scatterers to regular ones.
Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:55 , Issue: 7 )
Date of Publication: July 2008