Refraction-Corrected Transcranial Ultrasound Imaging through the Human Temporal Window using a Single Probe

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Abstract

Transcranial ultrasound imaging (TUI) is a diagnostic modality with numerous applications, but unfortunately, it is hindered by phase aberration caused by the skull. In this article, we propose to reconstruct a transcranial B-mode image with a refraction-corrected synthetic aperture imaging (SAI) scheme. First, the compressional sound velocity of the aberrator (i.e., the skull) is estimated using the bidirectional headwave technique. The medium is described with four layers (i.e., lens, water, skull, and water), and a fast marching method calculates the travel times between individual array elements and image pixels. Finally, a delay-and-sum algorithm is used for image reconstruction with coherent compounding. The point spread function (PSF) in a wire phantom image and reconstructed with the conventional technique (using a constant sound speed throughout the medium), and the proposed method was quantified with numerical synthetic data and experiments with a bone-mimicking plate and a human skull, compared with the PSF achieved in a ground truth image of the medium without the aberrator (i.e., the bone plate or skull). A phased-array transducer (P4-1, ATL/Philips, 2.5 MHz, 96 elements, pitch $=$ 0.295 mm) was used for the experiments. The results with the synthetic signals, the bone-mimicking plate, and the skull indicated that the proposed method reconstructs the scatterers with an average lateral/axial localization error of 0.06/0.14 mm, 0.11/0.13 mm, and 1.0/0.32 mm, respectively. With the human skull, an average contrast ratio (CR) and full-width-half-maximum (FWHM) of 37.1 dB and 1.75 mm were obtained with the proposed approach, respectively. This corresponds to an improvement of CR and FWHM by 7.1 dB and 36% compared with the conventional method, respectively. These numbers were 12.7 dB and 41% with the bone-mimicking plate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1191-1203
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control
Volume69
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.

Keywords

  • Transcranial ultrasound imaging
  • Adaptive beamforming
  • Phase aberration correction
  • Head waves
  • Temporal bone
  • Bones
  • Image coding
  • Image reconstruction
  • Imaging
  • Probes
  • Skull
  • Ultrasonic imaging

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