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20 March 2014 Quality assurance for ultrasound scanners using a durable tissue-mimicking phantom and radial MTF
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For the use in routine technical quality assurance (TQA) we developed a tissue-mimicking phantom and an evaluation algorithm. Key properties of US phantom materials are sound velocity and acoustic attenuation. For daily clinical use the material also has to be nontoxic, durable and easy in handling and maintenance. The base material of our phantom is Poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA), a synthetic polymer. By freezing the phantom body during the production process, it changes its sound velocity to closely match the one of the human body. The phantom's base form is a cuboid containing a large anechoic cylindric target. In routine QA it is required to gain comparable and reproducible results from a single image. To determine spatial resolution of phantom images, we calculate a modulation transfer function (MTF). We developed an algorithm, that calculates a radial MTF from a circular structure representing spatial resolution averaged across all directions. For evaluation of the algorithm, we created a set of synthetic images. A comparison of the results from a traditional slanted edge algorithm and our solution showed a close correlation. The US phantom was imaged with a commercial US-scanner at different sound frequencies. The computed MTFs of higher frequency images show higher transfer percentages in all spatial frequencies than the MTFs of lower frequency images. The results suggest that the proposed method produces clear statements about the spatial resolution of evaluated imaging devices. We therefore consider the method as suitable for application in technical quality assurance of diagnostic ultrasound scanners.
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Marcus Kaar, Friedrich Semturs, Michael Figl, Rainer Hoffmann, and Johann Hummel "Quality assurance for ultrasound scanners using a durable tissue-mimicking phantom and radial MTF", Proc. SPIE 9040, Medical Imaging 2014: Ultrasonic Imaging and Tomography, 90401C (20 March 2014);

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