Quantitative transmission ultrasound tomography: Imaging and performance characteristics

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Abstract

Purpose

Quantitative Transmission (QT) ultrasound has shown promise as a breast imaging modality. This study characterizes the performance of the latest generation of QT ultrasound scanners: QT Scanner 2000.

Methods

The scanner consists of a 2048-element ultrasound receiver array for transmission imaging and three transceivers for reflection imaging. Custom fabricated phantoms were used to quantify the imaging performance parameters. The specific performance parameters that have been characterized are spatial resolution (as point spread function), linear measurement accuracy, contrast to noise ratio, and image uniformity, in both transmission and reflection imaging modalities.

Results

The intrinsic in-plane resolution was measured to be better than 1.5 mm and 1.0 mm for transmission and reflection modalities respectively. The linear measurement accuracy was measured to be, on average, approximately 1% for both the modalities. Speed of sound image uniformity and measurement accuracy were calculated to be 99.5% and <0.2% respectively. Contrast to noise ratio (CNR) measurements vary as a function of object size.

Conclusions

The results show an improvement in the imaging performance of the system in comparison to earlier ultrasound tomography systems, which are applicable to clinical applications of the system, such as breast imaging.

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