Phase-dependent dual-frequency contrast imaging at sub-harmonic frequency.
ABSTRACT Sub-harmonic imaging techniques have been shown to provide a higher contrast-to-tissue ratio (CTR) at the cost of relatively low signal intensity from ultrasound contrast agents (UCAs). In this study, we propose a method of dual-frequency excitation to further enhance the CTR of subharmonic imaging. A dual-frequency excitation pulse is an amplitude-modulated waveform which consists of two sinusoids with frequencies of f₁ (e.g., 9 MHz) and f₂ (e.g., 6 MHz) and the resulting envelope component at (f₁ - f₂) (e.g., 3 MHz) can serve as a driving force to excite the nonlinear response of UCAs. In this study, the f₂, at twice of the resonance frequency of UCAs, is adopted to efficiently generate a sub-harmonic component at half of the f₂ frequency, and f₁ is included to enhance the high-order nonlinear response of UCAs at the sub-harmonic frequency. The second- and third-order nonlinear components resulting from the envelope component would spectrally overlap at the sub-harmonic frequency when f₁ and f₂ are properly selected. We further optimize the generation of the sub-harmonic component by tuning the phase terms between second- and third-order nonlinear components. The results show that, with dual-frequency excitation, the CTR at sub-harmonic frequency improves compared with the conventional tone-burst method. Moreover, the CTR changes periodically with the relative phase of the separate frequency component in the dual-frequency excitation, leading to a difference of as much as 9.1 dB between the maximal and minimal CTR at 300 kPa acoustic pressure. The echo produced from the envelope component appears to be specific for UCAs, and thus the proposed method has the potential to improve both SNR and CTR in sub-harmonic imaging. Nevertheless, the dual-frequency waveform may suffer from frequency-dependent attenuation that degrades the generation of the envelope component. The deviation of the microbubble's resonance characteristics from the selection of dual-frequency transmission may also decrease the CTR improvement.
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ABSTRACT: A new ultrasound contrast imaging technique was proposed for eliminating the harmonic components from the emission signal transmitted by the broadband ultrasonic system. Reversal phase-inversion pulse was used for the first time to separate the contrast harmonics from the harmonics in the emission signal to improve the detection of contrast micro-bubbles. Based on the nonlinear acoustic theory of finite-amplitude effects and the associated distortion of the propagating wave, the Bessel-Fubini series model was applied to describe the nonlinear propagation effects of the reversal phase-inversion pulse, and the Church’s equation for zero-thickness encapsulation model was used to produce the scattering-pulse of the bubble. For harmonic imaging, the experiment was performed using a 64-element linear array, which was simulated by Field II. The results show that the harmonic components from the emission signal can be completely cancelled, and the harmonics generated by the nonlinear propagation of the wave through the tissue, can be reduced by 15–30 dB. Compared with the short pulse, the reversal phase-inversion pulse can improve the contrast and definition of the harmonic image significantly.Journal of Central South University. 20(3).
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ABSTRACT: When insonified with suitable ultrasound excitation, contrast microbubbles generate various non-linear scattered components, such as the second harmonic (2H) and the subharmonic (SH). In this study, we exploit the wide frequency bandwidth of capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducers (CMUTs) to enhance the response from ultrasound contrast agents by selective imaging of both the 2H and SH components simultaneously. To this end, contrast images using the pulse inversion method were recorded with a 64-element CMUT linear array connected to an open scanner. In comparison to imaging at 2H alone, the wideband imaging including both the 2H and SH contributions provided up to 130% and 180% increases in the signal-to-noise and contrast-to-tissue ratios, respectively. The wide-frequency band of CMUTs offers new opportunities for improved ultrasound contrast agent imaging.Ultrasound in medicine & biology 06/2013; · 2.46 Impact Factor