12 April 2000 Real-time correction of beamforming time delay errors in abdominal ultrasound imaging
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The speed of sound varies with tissue type, yet commercial ultrasound imagers assume a constant sound speed. Sound speed variation in abdominal fat and muscle layers is widely believed to be largely responsible for poor contrast and resolution in some patients. The simplest model of the abdominal wall assumes that it adds a spatially varying time delay to the ultrasound wavefront. The adequacy of this model is controversial. We describe an adaptive imaging system consisting of a GE LOGIQ 700 imager connected to a multi- processor computer. Arrival time errors for each beamforming channel, estimated by correlating each channel signal with the beamsummed signal, are used to correct the imager's beamforming time delays at the acoustic frame rate. A multi- row transducer provides two-dimensional sampling of arrival time errors. We observe significant improvement in abdominal images of healthy male volunteers: increased contrast of blood vessels, increased visibility of the renal capsule, and increased brightness of the liver.
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K. Wayne Rigby, K. Wayne Rigby, "Real-time correction of beamforming time delay errors in abdominal ultrasound imaging", Proc. SPIE 3982, Medical Imaging 2000: Ultrasonic Imaging and Signal Processing, (12 April 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.382243; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.382243

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