Ultrasonic backscatter imaging by shear-wave-induced echo phase encoding of target locations.

Research paper by Stephen S McAleavey

Indexed on: 20 Jan '11Published on: 20 Jan '11Published in: IEEE transactions on ultrasonics, ferroelectrics, and frequency control


We present a novel method for ultrasound backscatter image formation wherein lateral resolution of the target is obtained by using traveling shear waves to encode the lateral position of targets in the phase of the received echo. We demonstrate that the phase modulation as a function of shear wavenumber can be expressed in terms of a Fourier transform of the lateral component of the target echogenicity. The inverse transform, obtained by measurements of the phase modulation over a range of shear wave spatial frequencies, yields the lateral scatterer distribution. Range data are recovered from time of flight as in conventional ultrasound, yielding a B-mode-like image. In contrast to conventional ultrasound imaging, where mechanical or electronic focusing is used and lateral resolution is determined by aperture size and wavelength, we demonstrate that lateral resolution using the proposed method is independent of the properties of the aperture. Lateral resolution of the target is achieved using a stationary, unfocused, single-element transducer. We present simulated images of targets of uniform and non-uniform shear modulus. Compounding for speckle reduction is demonstrated. Finally, we demonstrate image formation with an unfocused transducer in gelatin phantoms of uniform shear modulus.