Method for Recovering Lost Ultrasonic Information Using the Echo-intensity Mean


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Abstract

The axial resolution of a B-mode (or intensity) image is limited by the bandwidth of the pulse envelope. In this report, we investigate the source of this limitation by examining the transfer of high-resolution information from the tissue impedance variance throughout the imaging process. For that purpose, we express the mean and variance of the echo-intensity signal as a linear system to track the flow of object information along the image-formation chain. The results reveal how demodulation influences the available information by discarding high spatial-frequency information. This analysis further points to a simple way to recover lost information with only a minor addition to signal processing. Software phantoms are used to show that under ideal conditions, information from small-scale high-contrast reflectors, such as microcalcifications, can be significantly enhanced with this simple change to echo processing.

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