Cumulative phase delay imaging for contrast-enhanced ultrasound tomography

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Standard dynamic-contrast enhanced ultrasound (DCE-US) imaging detects and estimates ultrasound-contrast-agent (UCA) concentration based on the amplitude of the nonlinear (harmonic) components generated during ultrasound (US) propagation through UCAs. However, harmonic components generation is not specific to UCAs, as it also occurs for US propagating through tissue. Moreover, nonlinear artifacts affect standard DCE-US imaging, causing contrast to tissue ratio reduction, and resulting in possible misclassification of tissue and misinterpretation of UCA concentration. Furthermore, no contrast-specific modality exists for DCE-US tomography; in particular speed-of-sound changes due to UCAs are well within those caused by different tissue types. Recently, a new marker for UCAs has been introduced. A cumulative phase delay (CPD) between the second harmonic and fundamental component is in fact observable for US propagating through UCAs, and is absent in tissue. In this paper, tomographic US images based on CPD are for the first time presented and compared to speed-of-sound US tomography. Results show the applicability of this marker for contrast specific US imaging, with cumulative phase delay imaging (CPDI) showing superior capabilities in detecting and localizing UCA, as compared to speed-of-sound US tomography. Cavities (filled with UCA) which were down to 1 mm in diameter were clearly detectable. Moreover, CPDI is free of the above mentioned nonlinear artifacts. These results open important possibilities to DCE-US tomography, with potential applications to breast imaging for cancer localization.

Originele taal-2Engels
Pagina's (van-tot)L23-33
TijdschriftPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Volume60
Nummer van het tijdschrift21
DOI's
StatusGepubliceerd - 7 nov 2015

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