Evaluation of thin compression paddles for mammographically compatible ultrasound
ABSTRACT We are developing a combined digital mammography/3D ultrasound system for breast cancer imaging to better detect and/or characterize breast lesions. Scanning a GE Logiq 9 M12L transducer array over a mammographic compression paddle/plate introduces an attenuating layer with sound speed and impedance different from that of tissue. This reduces signal level and affects beam focusing, Making the choice of a suitable paddle is essential for accurate sonographic detection of lesions. Similar work has been reported, but we present a more complete characterization of image quality through mammographic paddles of varying materials, (e.g., Lexan, Polyurethane, TPX, Mylar) and thicknesses. Quantitative measures such as spatial and contrast resolution, signal strength, and range lobe levels were compared to images without a paddle. In vivo patient studies compared images with standard handheld scans to images with 0.25, 1.0, and 2.5 mm thick paddles to examine restricted access problems, coupling issues, and overall lesion clarity. For mammography, filters were added to account for differences in X-ray transmission properties between the tested paddle and the standard mammography paddle. When lateral beamforming corrections were implemented to partially account for the speed of sound through the paddles, experiments conducted on 25 μm line targets with several plastic paddles between 0.25-2.5 mm thick demonstrated image quality measures close to those with no paddle present. In some paddles <1.0 mm thick, a worst-case 5% reduction in linear spatial resolution and a maximum 4 dB signal loss averaged over 4 cm occurred. In those better paddles up to 2.5 mm thick, range lobe levels were consistently 35-40 dB lower than the signal maximum. Areas of restricted access (such as near the chest wall) were minimized by imaging in trapezoidal (virtual convex) format. TPX paddles <2.5 mm were the most ideal for ultrasound and mammogram imaging requirements and, after accounting for signal loss through the paddle, appearance of cysts was comparable to images obtained from handheld, direct contact sweeps.
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ABSTRACT: A Subvolume-based algorithm for elastic Ultrasound REgistration (SURE) was developed and evaluated. Designed primarily to improve spatial resolution in three-dimensional compound imaging, the algorithm registers individual image volumes nonlinearly before combination into compound volumes. SURE works in one or two stages, optionally using MIAMI Fuse software first to determine a global affine registration before iteratively dividing the volume into subvolumes and computing local rigid registrations in the second stage. Connectivity of the entire volume is ensured by global interpolation using thin-plate splines after each iteration. The performance of SURE was quantified in 20 synthetically deformed in vivo ultrasound volumes, and in two phantom scans, one of which was distorted at acquisition by placing an aberrating layer in the sound path. The aberrating layer was designed to induce beam aberrations reported for the female breast. Synthetic deformations of 1.5-2.5 mm were reduced by over 85% when SURE was applied to register the distorted image volumes with the original ones. Registration times were below 5 min on a 500-MHz CPU for an average data set size of 13 MB. In the aberrated phantom scans, SURE reduced the average deformation between the two volumes from 1.01 to 0.30 mm. This was a statistically significant (P = 0.01) improvement over rigid and affine registration transformations, which produced reductions to 0.59 and 0.50 mm, respectively.IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging 12/2002; 21(11):1384-94. · 4.03 Impact Factor
Article: The role of US in breast imaging.Radiology 12/1990; 177(2):305-11. · 6.34 Impact Factor