A method for synthetic aperture tissue harmonic imaging is investigated. It combines synthetic aperture sequential beamforming (SASB) with tissue harmonic imaging (THI) to produce an increased and more uniform spatial resolution and improved side lobe reduction compared to conventional B-mode imaging. Synthetic aperture sequential beamforming tissue harmonic imaging (SASB-THI) was implemented on a commercially available BK 2202 Pro Focus UltraView ultrasound system and compared to dynamic receive focused tissue harmonic imaging (DRF-THI) in clinical scans. The scan sequence that was implemented on the UltraView system acquires both SASB-THI and DRF-THI simultaneously. Twenty-four simultaneously acquired video sequences of in-vivo abdominal SASB-THI and DRF-THI scans on 3 volunteers of 4 different sections of liver and kidney tissues were created. Videos of the in-vivo scans were presented in double blinded studies to two radiologists for image quality performance scoring. Limitations to the systems transmit stage prevented user defined transmit apodization to be applied. Field II simulations showed that side lobes in SASB could be improved by using Hanning transmit apodization. Results from the image quality study show, that in the current configuration on the UltraView system, where no transmit apodization was applied, SASB-THI and DRF-THI produced equally good images. It is expected that given the use of transmit apodization, SASB-THI could be further improved.
Proceedings of Spie: Medical Imaging 2013: Ultrasonic Imaging, Tomography, and Therapy, 2013, Vol 8675