13 March 2017 Increased clutter level in echocardiography due to specular reflection
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State-of-the-art echocardiography allows to correctly diagnose most of cardiovascular diseases. An unknown source of clutter, however, hinders the visualization of the heart in some cases. We believe this clutter is caused by the ultrasound beam being partially reflected by the ribs into the elevation direction, so that structures outside the imaging plane are displayed on top of the heart image as clutter noise. We conducted in vitro experiments in a water tank using a synthetic ventricle and pig ribs. By partially blocking the probe with the ribs in the elevation direction, objects outside the imaging plane were rendered in the B-mode image, which confirms that the ribs can behave as specular reflectors. In addition, we succeeded in reproducing clutter noise using a piece of polystyrene to simulate the reflections from the lungs. This indicates that the origin of the clutter noise in echocardiograms can be reverberation coming from the lungs via specular reflection at the ribs.
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Ali Fatemi, Ali Fatemi, Hans Torp, Hans Torp, Svend Aakhus, Svend Aakhus, Alfonso Rodriguez-Molares, Alfonso Rodriguez-Molares, } "Increased clutter level in echocardiography due to specular reflection", Proc. SPIE 10139, Medical Imaging 2017: Ultrasonic Imaging and Tomography, 101391D (13 March 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2255721; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2255721

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