There has been a great deal of research into ultrasound tomography for breast imaging over the past 35 years. Few successful attempts have been made to reconstruct high-resolution images using transmission ultrasound. To this end, advances have been made in 2D and 3D algorithms that utilize either time of arrival or full wave data to reconstruct images with high spatial and contrast resolution suitable for clinical interpretation. The highest resolution and quantitative accuracy result from inverse scattering applied to full wave data in 3D. However, this has been prohibitively computationally expensive, meaning that full inverse scattering ultrasound tomography has not been considered clinically viable. Here we show the results of applying a nonlinear inverse scattering algorithm to 3D data in a clinically useful time frame. This method yields Quantitative Transmission (QT) ultrasound images with high spatial and contrast resolution. We reconstruct sound speeds for various 2D and 3D phantoms and verify these values with independent measurements. The data are fully 3D as is the reconstruction algorithm, with no 2D approximations. We show that 2D reconstruction algorithms can introduce artifacts into the QT breast image which are avoided by using a full 3D algorithm and data. We show high resolution gross and microscopic anatomic correlations comparing cadaveric breast QT images with MRI to establish imaging capability and accuracy. Finally, we show reconstructions of data from volunteers, as well as an objective visual grading analysis to confirm clinical imaging capability and accuracy.
James Wiskin, John Klock, Elaine Iuanow, Dave T. Borup, Robin Terry, Bilal H. Malik, and Mark Lenox, "Quantitative 3D high resolution transmission ultrasound tomography: creating clinically relevant images (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10139, Medical Imaging 2017: Ultrasonic Imaging and Tomography, 101390Y (Presented at SPIE Medical Imaging: February 16, 2017; Published: 2 May 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2254639.5361904035001.
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