Vector Doppler Method Based on an Automatic Transverse Angle Tracking Procedure
Traditional Doppler methods only measure the axial component of the velocity vector. The lack of information on the beam-to-flow (Doppler) angle creates an ambiguity which can lead to large errors in velocity magnitude estimates. An original approach was recently introduced, in which two ultrasound beams with known relative orientation are directed towards the same vessel, one being committed to perform a Doppler measurement, while the second beam has the specific task of detecting the beam-to-flow angle. In this paper, an angle-tracking procedure allowing the Doppler angle to be automatically determined with high accuracy is presented. The procedure is based on the real-time estimation of suitable Doppler spectrum parameters obtained from an M-line associated to a sub-aperture of a linear array probe. Such parameters are used to steer the M-line towards a direction corresponding to a desired beam-flow angle. Knowledge of this angle is finally exploited to obtain the velocity magnitude through the classic Doppler equation related to the second beam. The implementation of the method on a new ultrasound machine and its validation through in vitro and in vivo tests are reported.
KeywordsVector Doppler Dual-beam methods Transverse Doppler Doppler angle estimation Velocity magnitude measurement
The authors wish to thank all the staff of the Microelectronic Systems Design Laboratory, and in particular Stefano Ricci and Luca Bassi, for their great contribution to this work.
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