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3 March 2014 Freehand spatial-angular compounding of photoacoustic images
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Photoacoustic (PA) imaging is an emerging medical imaging modality that relies on the absorption of optical energy and the subsequent emission of acoustic waves that are detected with a conventional ultrasound probe. PA images are susceptible to background noise artifacts that reduce the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR). We investigated spatial-angular compounding of PA images to enhance these image qualities. Spatial-angular compounding was implemented by averaging multiple PA images acquired as an ultrasound probe was rotated about the elevational axis with the laser beam and PA target fixed in the same location. An external tracking system was used to provide the position and orientation (i.e. pose) information of each PA image. Based on this pose information, frames in similar elevational planes were filtered from the acquired image data and compounded using one of two methods. One method registered overlapping signals between frames prior to compounding (using the pose information), while the second method omitted this spatial registration step. These two methods were applied to pre-beamformed RF, beamformed RF, and envelope-detected data, resulting in six different compounding pipelines. Compounded PA images with similar lateral resolution to a single reference image had factors of 1.1 - 1.6, 2.0 - 11.1, and 2.0 - 11.1 improvements in contrast, CNR, and SNR, respectively, when compared to the reference image. These improvements depended on the amount of relative motion between the reference image and the images that were compounded. The inclusion of spatial registration prior to compounding preserved lateral resolution and signal location when the relative rotations about the elevation axis were 3.5° or less for images that were within an elevational distance of 2.5 mm from the reference image, particularly when the method was applied to the enveloped-detected data. Results indicate that spatial-angular compounding has the potential to improve image quality for a variety of photoacoustic imaging applications.
© (2014) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Hyun-Jae Kang, Muyinatu A. Lediju Bell, Xiaoyu Guo, Russell H. Taylor, and Emad M. Boctor "Freehand spatial-angular compounding of photoacoustic images", Proc. SPIE 8943, Photons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2014, 894361 (3 March 2014);

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