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Journal Cover   Ultrasonic Imaging
  [SJR: 0.818]   [H-I: 34]   [1 followers]  Follow
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 0161-7346 - ISSN (Online) 1096-0910
   Published by Sage Publications Homepage  [814 journals]
  • Effect of Temporal Acquisition Parameters on Image Quality of Strain Time
           Constant Elastography
    • Authors: Nair, S; Varghese, J, Chaudhry, A, Righetti, R.
      Pages: 87 - 100
      Abstract: Ultrasound methods to image the time constant (TC) of elastographic tissue parameters have been recently developed. Elastographic TC images from creep or stress relaxation tests have been shown to provide information on the viscoelastic and poroelastic behavior of tissues. However, the effect of temporal ultrasonic acquisition parameters and input noise on the image quality of the resultant strain TC elastograms has not been fully investigated yet. Understanding such effects could have important implications for clinical applications of these novel techniques. This work reports a simulation study aimed at investigating the effects of varying windows of observation, acquisition frame rate, and strain signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) on the image quality of elastographic TC estimates. A pilot experimental study was used to corroborate the simulation results in specific testing conditions. The results of this work suggest that the total acquisition time necessary for accurate strain TC estimates has a linear dependence to the underlying strain TC (as estimated from the theoretical strain-vs.-time curve). The results also indicate that it might be possible to make accurate estimates of the elastographic TC (within 10% error) using windows of observation as small as 20% of the underlying TC, provided sufficiently fast acquisition rates (>100 Hz for typical acquisition depths). The limited experimental data reported in this study statistically confirm the simulation trends, proving that the proposed model can be used as upper bound guidance for the correct execution of the experiments.
      PubDate: 2015-02-27T09:39:07-08:00
      DOI: 10.1177/0161734614539665
      Issue No: Vol. 37, No. 2 (2015)
  • In Vivo Application of Short-Lag Spatial Coherence and Harmonic Spatial
           Coherence Imaging in Fetal Ultrasound
    • Authors: Kakkad, V; Dahl, J, Ellestad, S, Trahey, G.
      Pages: 101 - 116
      Abstract: Fetal scanning is one of the most common applications of ultrasound imaging and serves as a source of vital information about maternal and fetal health. Visualization of clinically relevant structures, however, can be severely compromised in difficult-to-image patients due to poor resolution and the presence of high levels of acoustical noise or clutter. We have developed novel coherence-based beamforming methods called Short-Lag Spatial Coherence (SLSC) imaging and Harmonic Spatial Coherence imaging (HSCI), and applied them to suppress the effects of clutter in fetal imaging. This method is used to create images of the spatial coherence of the backscattered ultrasound as opposed to images of echo magnitude. We present the results of a patient study to assess the benefits of coherence-based beamforming in the context of first trimester fetal exams. Matched fundamental B-mode, SLSC, harmonic B-mode, and HSCI images were generated using raw radio frequency data collected on 11 volunteers in the first trimester of pregnancy. The images were compared for qualitative differences in image texture and target conspicuity as well as using quantitative imaging metrics such as signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), and contrast. SLSC and HSCI showed statistically significant improvements across all imaging metrics compared with B-mode and harmonic B-mode, respectively. These improvements were greatest for poor quality B-mode images where contrast of anechoic targets was improved from 15 dB in fundamental B-mode to 27 dB in SLSC and 17 dB in harmonic B-mode to 30 dB in HSCI. CNR improved from 1.4 to 2.5 in the fundamental images and 1.4 to 3.1 in the harmonic case. These results exhibit the potential of coherence-based beamforming to improve image quality and target detectability, especially in high noise environments.
      PubDate: 2015-02-27T09:39:07-08:00
      DOI: 10.1177/0161734614547281
      Issue No: Vol. 37, No. 2 (2015)
  • Backscatter Coefficient Estimation Using Tapers with Gaps
    • Authors: Luchies, A. C; Oelze, M. L.
      Pages: 117 - 134
      Abstract: When using the backscatter coefficient (BSC) to estimate quantitative ultrasound parameters such as the effective scatterer diameter (ESD) and the effective acoustic concentration (EAC), it is necessary to assume that the interrogated medium contains diffuse scatterers. Structures that invalidate this assumption can affect the estimated BSC parameters in terms of increased bias and variance and decrease performance when classifying disease. In this work, a method was developed to mitigate the effects of echoes from structures that invalidate the assumption of diffuse scattering, while preserving as much signal as possible for obtaining diffuse scatterer property estimates. Backscattered signal sections that contained nondiffuse signals were identified and a windowing technique was used to provide BSC estimates for diffuse echoes only. Experiments from physical phantoms were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed BSC estimation methods. Tradeoffs associated with effective mitigation of specular scatterers and bias and variance introduced into the estimates were quantified. Analysis of the results suggested that discrete prolate spheroidal (PR) tapers with gaps provided the best performance for minimizing BSC error. Specifically, the mean square error for BSC between measured and theoretical had an average value of approximately 1.0 and 0.2 when using a Hanning taper and PR taper respectively, with six gaps. The BSC error due to amplitude bias was smallest for PR (N = 1) tapers. The BSC error due to shape bias was smallest for PR (N = 4) tapers. These results suggest using different taper types for estimating ESD versus EAC.
      PubDate: 2015-02-27T09:39:07-08:00
      DOI: 10.1177/0161734614549263
      Issue No: Vol. 37, No. 2 (2015)
  • Lossless Data Compression for Improving the Performance of a GPU-Based
    • Authors: Lok, U.-W; Fan, G.-W, Li, P.-C.
      Pages: 135 - 151
      Abstract: The powerful parallel computation ability of a graphics processing unit (GPU) makes it feasible to perform dynamic receive beamforming However, a real time GPU-based beamformer requires high data rate to transfer radio-frequency (RF) data from hardware to software memory, as well as from central processing unit (CPU) to GPU memory. There are data compression methods (e.g. Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG)) available for the hardware front end to reduce data size, alleviating the data transfer requirement of the hardware interface. Nevertheless, the required decoding time may even be larger than the transmission time of its original data, in turn degrading the overall performance of the GPU-based beamformer. This article proposes and implements a lossless compression–decompression algorithm, which enables in parallel compression and decompression of data. By this means, the data transfer requirement of hardware interface and the transmission time of CPU to GPU data transfers are reduced, without sacrificing image quality. In simulation results, the compression ratio reached around 1.7. The encoder design of our lossless compression approach requires low hardware resources and reasonable latency in a field programmable gate array. In addition, the transmission time of transferring data from CPU to GPU with the parallel decoding process improved by threefold, as compared with transferring original uncompressed data. These results show that our proposed lossless compression plus parallel decoder approach not only mitigate the transmission bandwidth requirement to transfer data from hardware front end to software system but also reduce the transmission time for CPU to GPU data transfer.
      PubDate: 2015-02-27T09:39:08-08:00
      DOI: 10.1177/0161734614547280
      Issue No: Vol. 37, No. 2 (2015)
  • Two-Dimensional Ultrasound and Ultrasound Elastography Imaging of Trigger
           Points in Women with Myofascial Pain Syndrome Treated by Acupuncture and
           Electroacupuncture: A Double-Blinded Randomized Controlled Pilot Study
    • Authors: Muller, C. E. E; Aranha, M. F. M, Gaviao, M. B. D.
      Pages: 152 - 167
      Abstract: Chronic pain has been often associated with myofascial pain syndrome (MPS), which is determined by myofascial trigger points (MTrP). New features have been tested for MTrP diagnosis. The aim of this study was to evaluate two-dimensional ultrasonography (2D US) and ultrasound elastography (UE) images and elastograms of upper trapezius MTrP during electroacupuncture (EA) and acupuncture (AC) treatment. 24 women participated, aged between 20 and 40 years (M ± SD = 27.33 ± 5.05) with a body mass index ranging from 18.03 to 27.59 kg/m2 (22.59 ± 3.11), a regular menstrual cycle, at least one active MTrP at both right (RTPz) and left trapezius (LTPz) and local or referred pain for up to six months. Subjects were randomized into EA and AC treatment groups and the control sham AC (SHAM) group. Intensity of pain was assessed by visual analogue scale; MTrP mean area and strain ratio (SR) by 2D US and UE. A significant decrease of intensity in general, RTPz, and LTPz pain was observed in the EA group (p = 0.027; p < 0.001; p = 0.005, respectively) and in general pain in the AC group (p < 0.001). Decreased MTrP area in RTPz and LTPz were observed in AC (p < 0.001) and EA groups (RTPz, p = 0.003; LTPz, p = 0.005). Post-treatment SR in RTPz and LTPz was lower than pre-treatment in both treatment groups. 2D US and UE effectively characterized MTrP and surrounding tissue, pointing to the possibility of objective confirmation of subjective EA and AC treatment effects.
      PubDate: 2015-02-27T09:39:08-08:00
      DOI: 10.1177/0161734614546571
      Issue No: Vol. 37, No. 2 (2015)
  • Is a New High-Resolution Probe Better than the Standard Probe for 3D Anal
           Sphincter and Levator Ani Imaging'
    • Authors: Rostaminia, G; White, D, Quiroz, L, Shobeiri, S. A.
      Pages: 168 - 175
      Abstract: The aim of our study was to determine the accuracy of a new three-dimensional (3D) endoluminal ultrasound probe in assessing the levator ani muscle and anal sphincter complex. A total of 85 patients who had undergone concurrent 3D endovaginal (EVUS) and 3D endoanal (EAUS) ultrasound with both the standard BK 2052 probe and the new high-definition BK 8838 probes were included. For EVUS volumes, the levator ani deficiency (LAD) scores were calculated for each probe. For the EAUS volumes, any defects in the external anal sphincter (EAS) and the internal anal sphincter (IAS) visualized with each probe were recorded. The 3D volumes were evaluated in a blinded fashion. Appropriate statistics were utilized to assess absolute agreements between each pair of imaging modalities. The mean age of the patient population was 59 years (SD ± 10.76), the mean body mass index (BMI) was 28.36 (SD ± 5.99), and the median parity was 2 (range 1, 7). In all, 93% of the patients were Caucasian, 31% had stage 0 or 1 prolapse, while 59% had stage 2 prolapse. The mean total LAD score obtained on EVUS with the standard and the new probes were 11.49 (SD ± 4.94) and 11.53 (SD ± 5.01), respectively, p = 0.3778. Among the 53 patients who had EAUS with both probes, exact agreement for visualization of EAS and IAS for the standard and the new probes was 83% and 98%, respectively. Both transducers can be used for endovaginal imaging of the levator ani muscles interchangeably. Both transducers can be used for endoanal imaging of anal sphincter complex interchangeably.
      PubDate: 2015-02-27T09:39:08-08:00
      DOI: 10.1177/0161734614534831
      Issue No: Vol. 37, No. 2 (2015)
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