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29 March 2013 A synthetic aperture study of aperture size in the presence of noise and in vivo clutter
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Conventional wisdom in ultrasonic array design drives development towards larger arrays because of the inverse relationship between aperture size and resolution. We propose a method using synthetic aperture beamforming to study image quality as a function of aperture size in simulation, in a phantom and in vivo. A single data acquisition can be beamformed to produce matched images with a range of aperture sizes, even in the presence of target motion. In this framework we evaluate the reliability of typical image quality metrics – speckle signal-tonoise ratio, contrast and contrast-to-noise ratio – for use in in vivo studies. Phantom and simulation studies are in good agreement in that there exists a point of diminishing returns in image quality at larger aperture sizes. We demonstrate challenges in applying and interpreting these metrics in vivo, showing results in hypoechoic vasculature regions. We explore the use of speckle brightness to describe image quality in the presence of in vivo clutter and underlying tissue inhomogeneities.
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Nick Bottenus, Brett C. Byram, and Gregg E. Trahey "A synthetic aperture study of aperture size in the presence of noise and in vivo clutter", Proc. SPIE 8675, Medical Imaging 2013: Ultrasonic Imaging, Tomography, and Therapy, 86750S (29 March 2013);

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