20 March 2014 Increasing the dynamic range of synthetic aperture vector flow imaging
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In current ultrasound systems the dynamic range of detectable velocities is susceptible to the selected pulse repetition frequency, thus limiting the dynamic range of flow mapping. To establish the feasibility of extending the range of detectable velocities towards low velocity vessels, results are presented using synthetic aperture which increases the frame-to-frame signal correlation of the scatterer displacement while providing continuous data. In this paper, recursive synthetic aperture acquisition, directional beamforming, and cross-correlation are used to produce B-mode and vector velocity images. The emissions for the two imaging modes are interleaved 1-to-1 ratio, providing a high frame rate equal to the effective pulse repetition frequency of each imaging mode. The direction of the flow is estimated, and the velocity is then determined in that direction. This method works for all angles, including fully axial and transverse flows. The method is investigated using Field II simulations and data from the experimental ultrasound scanner SARUS, acquired from a circulating flow rig with a parabolic flow. A 7 MHz linear array transducer is used, and several pulse repetition frequencies are synthesized in a simulated flow phantom with linearly increasing velocity and in a dual-vessel phantom with laminar flow with peak velocities of 0.05 m/s and 0.5 m/s. The experimental measurements are made with laminar flow as in the simulations. For the simulated and experimental vessel with peak velocity of 0.05 m/s and flow angle of 75°, the relative bias is -0.29% and -3.19%, and the relative standard deviations are 2.39% and 5.75% respectively. For the simulated and experimental vessel with peak velocity of 0.5 m/s and flow angle of -90°, the relative biases are -4.30% and -7.37%, and the relative standard deviations are 1.59% and 6.12%, respectively. The presented method can improve the estimates by synthesizing a lower pulse repetition frequency, thereby increasing the dynamic range of the vector velocity imaging.
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Carlos Villagomez Hoyos, Carlos Villagomez Hoyos, Matthias Bo Stuart, Matthias Bo Stuart, Jørgen Arendt Jensen, Jørgen Arendt Jensen, "Increasing the dynamic range of synthetic aperture vector flow imaging", Proc. SPIE 9040, Medical Imaging 2014: Ultrasonic Imaging and Tomography, 904011 (20 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2043637; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2043637

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