Plane wave versus focused transmissions for contrast enhanced ultrasound imaging: the role of parameter settings and the effects of flow rate on contrast measurements.
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Contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) and dynamic contrast enhanced ultrasound (DCE-US) can be used to provide information about the vasculature aiding diagnosis and monitoring of a number of pathologies including cancer. In the development of a CEUS imaging system, there are many choices to be made, such as whether to use plane wave (PW) or focused imaging (FI), and the values for parameters such as transmit frequency, F-number, mechanical index, and number of compounding angles (for PW imaging). CEUS image contrast may also be dependent on subject characteristics, e.g. flow speed and vessel orientation. We evaluated the effect of such choices on vessel contrast for PW and FI in vitro, using 2D ultrasound imaging. CEUS images were obtained using a VantageTM (Verasonics Inc.) and a pulse-inversion (PI) algorithm on a flow phantom. Contrast (C) and contrast reduction (CR) were calculated, where C was the initial ratio of signal in vessel to signal in background and CR was its reduction after 200 frames (acquired in 20 s). Two transducer orientations were used: parallel and perpendicular to the vessel direction. Similar C and CR was achievable for PW and FI by choosing optimal parameter values. PW imaging suffered from high frequency grating lobe artefacts, which may lead to degraded image quality and misinterpretation of data. Flow rate influenced the contrast based on: (1) false contrast increase due to the bubble motion between the PI positive and negative pulses (for both PW and FI), and (2) contrast reduction due to the incoherency caused by bubble motion between the compounding angles (for PW only). The effects were less pronounced for perpendicular transducer orientation compared to a parallel one. Although both effects are undesirable, it may be more straight forward to account for artefacts in FI as it only suffers from the former effect. In conclusion, if higher frame rate imaging is not required (a benefit of PW), FI appears to be a better choice of imaging mode for CEUS, providing greater image quality over PW for similar rates of contrast reduction.
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Imaging for Radiotherapy Adaptation
Ultrasound & Optical Imaging
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Phys Med Biol, 2019, 64 (9), pp. 095003 - ?