B-flow techniques introduced in commercial scanners have been useful is visualizing places of flow. The method is relatively independent of flow angle and can give a good perception of vessel location and turbulence. This paper introduces a technique for making a synthetic aperture B-flow system. Data is acquired over a number of pulse emissions, where a set of elements synthesizes a spherical wave and the received signal on all elements are acquired. The sequence is repeated and a full new image can always be formed from the last set of emissions, thus making the frame rate very high. The data is continuously available at all places in the image and any kind of echo canceling filter can therefore be used without the usual initialization problems. The B-flow images are then formed by displaying the gray level image after echo canceling. A fast moving scatterer will give a bright echo and slower moving scatterers will yield a dark echo. The approach is demonstrated through in-vivo images. A 128 elements 7 MHz probe with lambda pitch is used together with the RASMUS experimental scanner. Eleven elements are used per emission and the eight emissions are spread evenly over the 128 elements of the array. The signal received by the 64 elements closets to the en-fission are sampled at 40 MHz and 12 bits at a pulse repetition frequency of 3 kHz. A full second of data is acquired from a healthy 29 years old male volunteer from the carotid artery. The data is beamformed, combined, and echo canceled off-line. High-pass filters designed by the Remez exchange algorithm, have been used for the B-flow processing. The image is displayed after each set of emissions yielding 375 frames per second. Both the flow in the carotid artery and the jugular vein can be seen along with an indication of the acceleration and spatial variation of the velocity.
Applications of Digital Image Processing, 2004, p. 44-51
Medical ultrasound; B-flow; Synthetic aperture; Blood velocity
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Proceedings of S P I E - International Society for Optical Engineering