Ultrasound Computer Tomography is an exciting new technology mostly aimed at breast cancer imaging. Due to the complex interaction of ultrasound with human tissue, the large amount of raw data, and the large volumes of interest, both image acquisition and image reconstruction are challenging. Following the idea of open science, the long term goal of the USCT reference database is establishing open and easy to use data and code interfaces and stimulating the exchange of available reconstruction algorithms and raw data sets of different USCT devices. The database was established with freely available and open licensed USCT data for comparison of reconstruction algorithms, and will be maintained and updated. Additionally, the feedback about data and system architecture of the scientists working on reconstruction methods will be published to help to drive further development of the various measurement setups.
The reconstruction of acoustic attenuation maps for transmission Ultrasound Computed Tomography (USCT) based on
the standard least-squares full wave inversion method requires the accurate knowledge of the sound speed map in the
region under study. Any deviation in the reconstructed speed maps creates a very significant bias in the attenuation map,
as the standard least-squares misfit function is more sensitive to time misalignments than to amplitude differences of the
signals. In this work, we propose a generalized misfit function which includes an additional term that accounts for the
amplitude differences between the measured and the estimated signals. The functional gradients used to minimize the
proposed misfit function were obtained using an adjoint field formulation and the fractional Laplacian wave equation.
The forward and backward wave propagation was obtained with the parallelized GPU version of the software k-Wave
and the optimization was performed with a line search method. A numerical phantom simulating breast tissue and
synthetic noisy data were used to test the performance of the proposed misfit function. The attenuation was reconstructed
based on a converged speed map. An edge-preserving regularization method based on total variation was also
implemented. To quantify the quality of the results, the mean values and their standard deviations in several regions of
interest were analyzed and compared to the reference values. The proposed generalized misfit function decreases
considerably the bias in the attenuation map caused by the deviations in the speed map in all the regions of interest