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3 March 2014 Increase of penetration depth in real-time clinical epi-optoacoustic imaging: clutter reduction and aberration correction
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Optoacoustic (OA) imaging will experience broadest clinical application if implemented in epi-style with the irradiation optics and the acoustic probe integrated in a single probe. This will allow most flexible imaging of the human body in a combined system together with echo ultrasound (US). In such a multimodal combination, the OA signal could provide functional information within the anatomical context shown in the US image, similar to what is already done with colour flow imaging. Up to date, successful deep epi-OA imaging was difficult to achieve, owing to clutter and acoustic aberrations. Clutter signals arise from strong optical absorption in the region of tissue irradiation and strongly reduce contrast and imaging depth. Acoustic aberrations are caused by the inhomogeneous speed of sound and degrade the spatial resolution of deep tissue structures, further reducing contrast and thus imaging depth. In past years we have developed displacement-compensated averaging (DCA) for clutter reduction based on the clutter decorrelation that occurs when palpating the tissue using the ultrasound probe. We have now implemented real-time DCA on a research ultrasound system to evaluate its clutter reduction performance in freehand scanning of human volunteers. Our results confirm that DCA significantly improves image contrast and imaging depth, making clutter reduction a basic requirement for a clinically successful combination of epi-OA and US imaging. In addition we propose a novel technique which allows automatic full aberration correction of OA images, based on measuring the effect of aberration spatially resolved using echo US. Phantom results demonstrate that this technique allows spatially invariant diffraction-limited resolution in presence of a strong aberrator.
© (2014) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Michael Jaeger, Kujtim Gashi, Sara Peeters, Gerrit Held, Stefan Preisser, Michael Gruenig, and Martin Frenz "Increase of penetration depth in real-time clinical epi-optoacoustic imaging: clutter reduction and aberration correction", Proc. SPIE 8943, Photons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2014, 89430Q (3 March 2014);

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