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A new formalism is presented for the destruction-replenishment perfusion quantification approach at low mechanical index. On the basis of physical considerations, best-fit methods should be applied using perfusion functions with S-shape characteristics. These functions are first described for the case of a geometry with a single flow velocity, then extended to the case of vascular beds with blood vessels having multiple flow velocity values and directions. The principles guiding the analysis are, on one hand, a linearization of video echo signals to overcome the log-compression of the imaging instrument, and, on the other hand, the spatial distribution of the transmit-receive ultrasound beam in the elevation direction. An in vitro model also is described; it was used to confirm experimentally the validity of the approach using a commercial contrast agent. The approach was implemented in the form of a computer program, taking as input a sequence of contrast-specific images, as well as parameters related to the ultrasound imaging equipment used. The generated output is either flow-parameter values computed in regions-of-interest, or parametric flow-images (e.g., mean velocity, mean transit time, mean flow, flow variance, or skewness). This approach thus establishes a base for extracting information about the morphology of vascular beds in vivo, and could allow absolute quantification provided that appropriate instrument calibration is implemented.
Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:53 , Issue: 6 )
Date of Publication: June 2006