Advertisement

Journal of Medical Ultrasonics

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 461–471 | Cite as

Synthetic aperture ultrasound imaging with a ring transducer array: preliminary ex vivo results

  • Xiaolei Qu
  • Takashi AzumaEmail author
  • Takeshi Yogi
  • Shiho Azuma
  • Hideki Takeuchi
  • Satoshi Tamano
  • Shu Takagi
Original Article

Abstract

Purpose

The conventional medical ultrasound imaging has a low lateral spatial resolution, and the image quality depends on the depth of the imaging location. To overcome these problems, this study presents a synthetic aperture (SA) ultrasound imaging method using a ring transducer array.

Methods

An experimental ring transducer array imaging system was constructed. The array was composed of 2048 transducer elements, and had a diameter of 200 mm and an inter-element pitch of 0.325 mm. The imaging object was placed in the center of the ring transducer array, which was immersed in water. SA ultrasound imaging was then employed to scan the object and reconstruct the reflection image.

Results

Both wire phantom and ex vivo experiments were conducted. The proposed method was found to be capable of producing isotropic high-resolution images of the wire phantom. In addition, preliminary ex vivo experiments using porcine organs demonstrated the ability of the method to reconstruct high-quality images without any depth dependence.

Conclusion

The proposed ring transducer array and SA ultrasound imaging method were shown to be capable of producing isotropic high-resolution images whose quality was independent of depth.

Keywords

Ring transducer Synthetic aperture technique Ultrasound reflection image Ultrasound computed tomography 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by a Translational Systems Biology and Medicine Initiative grant from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology of Japan. This research was also supported by the Center of Innovation Program from the Japan Science and Technology Agency, JST.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical statement

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

Conflict of interest

There is no conflict of interest to be disclosed for this work, and the manuscript is approved by all authors for publication.

References

  1. 1.
    Numata K. Advances in ultrasound systems for hepatic lesions in Japan. J Med Ultrason. 2015;42:297–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Amy D, Durante E, Tot T. The lobar approach to breast ultrasound imaging and surgery. J Med Ultrason. 2015;42:331–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Taki H, Tanimura S, Sakamoto T, et al. Accurate ultrasound imaging based on range point migration method for the depiction of fetal surface. J Med Ultrason. 2015;42:51–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ueno E, Tohno E, Morishima I, et al. A preliminary prospective study to compare the diagnostic performance of assist strain ratio versus manual strain ratio. J Med Ultrason. 2015;42:521–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Mori S, Hirata S, Hachiya H. Effect of beam width on quantitative estimation of liver fibrosis using ultrasonic images. Jpn J Appl Phys. 2014;53:07KF231–5.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Oguri T, Tamura K, Yoshida K, et al. Estimation of scaterer size and acoustic concentration in sound field produced by linear phased array transducer. Jpn J Appl Phys. 2015;54:07HF141–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gyongy M, Kollar S. Variation of ultrasound image lateral spectrum with assumed speed of sound and true scaterer density. Ultrasonics. 2015;56:370–80.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Smith S, Wagner R, Sandrik J, et al. Low contrast detectability and contrast/detail analysis in medical ultrasound. IEEE Trans Son Ultrason. 1983;30:164–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Berg W, Blume J, Cormack J, et al. Operator dependence of physician-performed whole-breast US: lesion detection and characterization. Radiology. 2006;241:355–65.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Yamada S. Educational activities in the community and live demonstrations of ultrasonography. J Med Ultrason. 2015;42:447–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Littrup P, Duric N, Azevedo S, et al. Computerized ultrasound risk evaluation (CURE) system: development of combined transmission and reflection ultrasound with new reconstruction algorithms for breast imaging. Acoust Imaging. 2002;26:175–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Schmidt S, Duric N, Li C, et al. Modification of Kirchhoff migration with variable sound speed and attenuation for acoustic imaging of media and application to tomographic imaging of the breast. Med Phys. 2011;38:998–1007.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    DeSantis C, Ma J, Bryan L, et al. Breast cancer statistics, 2013. CA Cancer J Clin. 2014;64:52–62.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Green M, Raina V. Epidemiology, screening and diagnosis of breast cancer in the Asia-Pacific region: current perspectives and important considerations. Asia Pac J Clin Oncol. 2008;4:S5–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Leong S, Shen Z, Liu T, et al. Is breast cancer the same disease in Asian and western countries? World J Surg. 2010;34:2308–24.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Youlden D, Cramb S, Yip C, et al. Incidence and mortality of female breast cancer in the Asia-Pacific region. Cancer Biol Med. 2014;11:101–15.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Matsuda A, Matsuda T, Shibata A, et al. Cancer incidence and incidence rates in Japan in 2007: a study of 21 population-based cancer registries for the monitoring of cancer incidence in Japan (MCIJ) project. Jpn J Clin Oncol. 2013;43:328–36.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ohuchi N, Suzuki A, Sobue T, et al. Sensitivity and specificity of mammography and adjunctive ultrasonography to screen for breast cancer in the Japan Strategic Anti-cancer Randomized Trial (J-START): a randomized controlled trial. Lancet. 2016;387:341–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Berg W, Bandos A, Mendelson E, et al. Ultrasound as the primary screening test for breast cancer: analysis from ACRIN 6666. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2016;108:1–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Norton S, Linzer M. Ultrasonic reflectivity tomography: reconstruction with circular transducer arrays. Ultrason Imaging. 1979;1:154–84.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Qu X, Azuma T, Imoto H, et al. Novel automatic first-arrival picking method for ultrasound sound-speed tomography. Jpn J Appl Phys. 2015;54:07HF101–9.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Qu X, Azuma T, Nakamura H, et al. Bent ray ultrasound tomography reconstruction using virtual receivers for reducing time cost. Proc of SPIE. 2015;9419:94190F1–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Brown W. Synthetic aperture radar. IEEE Trans Aero Elec Sys. 1967;AES-3:217–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Doctor S, Hall T, Reid L. SAFT-the evolution of a signal processing technology for ultrasonic testing. NDT Int. 1986;19:163–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Nagai K. A new synthetic-aperture focusing method for ultrasonic B-scan imaging by the fourier transform. IEEE Trans Son Ultrason. 1985;su-32:531–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Jensen J, Nikolov S, Gammelmark K, et al. Synthetic aperture ultrasound imaging. Ultrasonics. 2006;44:e5–15.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Flax S, Donnell M. Phase-aberration correction using signals from point reflectors and diffuse scatterers: basic principles. IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferr. 1988;35:758–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Jiang W, Astheimer J, Waag R. Aberration compensation of ultrasound imaging instrument with a reduced number of channels. IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferr. 2012;59:2210–25.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Qu X, Azuma T, Liang J, et al. Average sound speed estimation using speckle analysis of medical ultrasound data. Int J Comput Assist Radiol Surg. 2012;7:891–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Hasegawa H. Enhancing effect of phase coherence factor for improvement of spatial resolution in ultrasonic imaging. J Med Ultrason. 2016;43:19–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Qu X, Azuma T, Lin H, et al. Phase aberration correction by multi-stencils fast marching method using sound speed image in ultrasound computed tomography. Proc SPIE. 2016;9790:9790181–7.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Japan Society of Ultrasonics in Medicine 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaolei Qu
    • 1
  • Takashi Azuma
    • 1
    Email author
  • Takeshi Yogi
    • 1
  • Shiho Azuma
    • 1
  • Hideki Takeuchi
    • 1
  • Satoshi Tamano
    • 2
  • Shu Takagi
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of EngineeringThe University of TokyoBunkyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical EngineeringTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan

Personalised recommendations