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11 March 2011 On the measurement of ultrasound transmission through a penetrable acoustic cone
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Breast ultrasound tomography (BUST) is currently being developed for the early detection of cancer. Images of mechanical properties across the breast are formed using ultrasonic signals transmitted through the breast immersed in water. This is possible because the perturbation to the free propagation of ultrasound induced by the presence of the breast encodes information about the material properties of the breast. To achieve high sensitivity with BUST it is therefore crucial that the perturbation is most sensitive to the internal lesions inside the breast. However, the perturbation is also affected by the shape of the breast which can cause significant and undesired refraction effects. To understand the effect of breast shape on the transmission of ultrasound, this paper investigates transmission through a cone with properties similar to that of breast tissue. We show that it is possible to identify two regimes of transmission depending on the physical properties of the cone and transducers. While the first regime is suitable for BUST measurements, the second regime is highly affected by the breast shape and measurements are not reliable for accurate reconstructions. We provide a physical approximation that describes transmission in the first regime and which will aid the design of future BUST systems.
© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
P. Huthwaite and F. Simonetti "On the measurement of ultrasound transmission through a penetrable acoustic cone", Proc. SPIE 7968, Medical Imaging 2011: Ultrasonic Imaging, Tomography, and Therapy, 79681H (11 March 2011);

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