The pathological states of biological tissue are often resulted in attenuation changes. Thus, information about attenuating properties of tissue is valuable for the physician and could be useful in ultrasonic diagnosis. We are currently developing a technique for parametric imaging of attenuation and we intend to apply it for in vivo characterization of tissue. The attenuation estimation method based on the echoes mean frequency changes due to tissue attenuation dispersion, is presented. The Doppler IQ technique was adopted to estimate the mean frequency directly from the raw RF data. The Singular Spectrum Analysis technique was used for the extraction of mean frequency trends. These trends were converted into attenuation distribution and finally the parametric images were computed. In order to reduce variation of attenuation estimates the spatial compounding method was applied. Operation and accuracy of attenuation extracting procedure was verified by calculating the attenuation coefficient distribution using the data from the tissue phantom (DFS, Denmark) with uniform echogenicity while attenuation coefficient underwent variation.
The soft tissue attenuation is an interesting parameter from medical point of view, because the value of attenuation coefficient is often related to the state of the tissue. Thus, the imaging of the attenuation coefficient distribution within the tissue could be a useful tool for ultrasonic medical diagnosis. The method of attenuation estimation based on tracking of the mean frequency changes in a backscattered signal is presented in this paper. The attenuation estimates are characterized by high variance due to stochastic character of the backscattered ultrasonic signal and some special methods must be added to data processing to improve the resulting images. The following paper presents the application of Spatial Compounding (SC), Frequency Compounding (FC) and the combination of both. The resulting parametric images are compared by means of root-mean-square errors. The results show that combined SC and FC techniques significantly improve the quality and accuracy of parametric images of attenuation distribution.
Breast cancer screening is based on X-ray mammography, while ultrasound is considered a complementary technique with improved detection in dense tissue. However, breast cancer screening requires a technique that provides repeatable results at the inspection interval which cannot be achieved with manual breast exploration. During the last years there have appeared several approaches to overcome this limitation by means of automated ultrasonic tomography performed with motorized probes or with a large set of array transducers. This work addresses these problems by considering a quite simple and low-cost arrangement, formed with a ring of conventional medical-grade array probes which are multiplexed to the electronics to build Full Angle Spatially Compounded (FASC) images. The work analyzes the performance of such arrangement in terms of resolution and isotropy, showing by numerical modelling and experimentally that it provides high resolution and homogeneity in the whole imaged region. The implementation of this technique would provide more than one circular FASC per second and a whole breast volume image in 1–2 minutes with conventional technology, a process fast enough to be clinically useful. Moreover, the automated technique is repeatable and can be used by the clinician to perform immediately the diagnosis without requiring additional data processing.