Photoacoustic imaging (PAI) is a promising imaging modality due to its high optical specificity. However, the low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) of in vivo PA images are major challenges that prevent PAI from finding its place in clinics. This paper investigates the merit of spatial compounding of PA images in arterial phantoms and the achievable improvements of SNR, when in vivo conditions are mimicked. The analysis of the compounding technique was performed on a polyvinyl alcohol vessel phantom with black threads embedded in its wall. The in vivo conditions were mimicked by limiting the rotation range in ±30°, adding turbid surrounding medium, and filling the lumen with porcine blood. Finally, the performance of the technique was evaluated in ex vivo human carotid plaque samples. Results showed that spatial compounding elevates the SNR by 5-10 dB and CNR by 1-5 dB, depending on the location of the absorbers. This paper elucidates prospective in vivo PA characterization of carotid plaques by proposing a method to enhance PA image quality.
|Tijdschrift||IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control|
|Nummer van het tijdschrift||3|
|Status||Gepubliceerd - mrt 2018|