Bio


My laboratory develops and implements ultrasonic beamforming methods, ultrasonic imaging modalities, and ultrasonic devices. Our current focus is on beamforming methods that are capable of generating high-quality images in the difficult-to-image patient population. These methods include general B-mode and Doppler imaging techniques that utilize additional information from the ultrasonic wavefields. We attempt to build these imaging methods into real-time imaging systems in order to apply them to clinical applications. Other projects in our laboratory include the development of novel ultrasonic imaging devices, such as small, intravascular ultrasound arrays that are capable of generating high acoustic output. These arrays are capable of generating radiation force in order to push on tissue to elucidate the mechanical properties and structure of vascular plaques.

Honors & Awards


  • Outstanding Paper Award, Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control (2011)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Associate Editor, IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control (2013 - Present)
  • Associate Editor, Ultrasonic Imaging (2013 - Present)

Professional Education


  • B.S., University of Cincinnati, Electrical Engineering (1999)
  • Ph.D., Duke University, Biomedical Engineering (2004)

Community and International Work


  • Aberration Correction in the Minimum Variance Distortionless Response Beamformer, Lima, Perú

    Topic

    Adaptive Beamforming in Medical Ultrasound

    Partnering Organization(s)

    Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú

    Location

    International

    Ongoing Project

    Yes

    Opportunities for Student Involvement

    Yes

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


My laboratory develops and implements ultrasonic beamforming methods, ultrasonic imaging modalities, and ultrasonic devices for diagnostic imaging applications. Our current focus is on beamforming methods that are capable of generating high-quality images in the difficult-to-image patient population. These methods include general B-mode and Doppler imaging techniques that utilize additional information from the ultrasonic wavefields. We attempt to build these imaging methods into real-time imaging systems in order to apply them to clinical applications. In addition, our laboratory develops ultrasonic imaging devices, such as small, intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) arrays that are capable of generating high acoustic output. These arrays are capable of generating radiation force in order to push on tissue to elucidate the mechanical properties and structure of vascular plaques, but can be utilized for therapeutic applications of ultrasound as well.

Current projects in our laboratory involve the simulation of nonlinear, acoustic wave propagation under complex models of human anatomy and the impact of anatomy and acoustic parameters on the resulting images. Often, the anatomy and acoustic parameters are the source of aberration and diffuse reverberation of the wavefronts, both of which contribute to image clutter. In addition to modeling and understanding these sources of clutter, we have developed imaging methods that utilize the spatial coherence of the ultrasonic wavefields in order to mitigate the impact of ultrasonic clutter (called short-lag spatial coherence [SLSC] imaging and coherent flow power Doppler [CFPD] imaging). These methods demonstrate significant improvement in image quality and the ability to detect slow flow.

Because the SLSC and CFPD imaging techniques require the individual channel signals from transducer arrays, these methods are difficult to integrate in current ultrasonic imaging scanners, where specialized hardware is utilized to generate real-time images. We have developed a prototype imaging system capable of implementing SLSC in real time. The system is currently capable of generating up to 30-35 frames per second of matched B-mode (conventional) and SLSC images. We are currently developing methods and approximations to the spatial coherence functions in order to increase the real-time display and image quality. This system will be utilized in clinical studies of cardiac function and focal liver lesions to compare the performance of SLSC and B-mode imaging.

We are also currently developing IVUS and catheter-based arrays to implement radiation-force based imaging techniques, such as Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse (ARFI) imaging and Shear Wave Elastography Imaging (SWEI). IVUS and catheter-based imaging transducers are generally high-frequency transducers that are capable of generating conventional B-mode displays. However, due to their small size and high frequency, they are often incapable of generating radiation forces in order to probe the mechanical properties of these tissues. We are currently building prototype IVUS and catheter transducers and arrays for the express purpose of generating radiation forces and high acoustic outputs.

2017-18 Courses


Stanford Advisees


All Publications


  • Coherent Flow Power Doppler (CFPD): Flow Detection Using Spatial Coherence Beamforming IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ULTRASONICS FERROELECTRICS AND FREQUENCY CONTROL Li, Y. L., Dahl, J. J. 2015; 62 (6): 1022-1035

    Abstract

    Power Doppler imaging is a widely used method of flow detection for tissue perfusion monitoring, inflammatory hyperemia detection, deep vein thrombosis diagnosis, and other clinical applications. However, thermal noise and clutter limit its sensitivity and ability to detect slow flow. In addition, large ensembles are required to obtain sufficient sensitivity, which limits frame rate and yields flash artifacts during moderate tissue motion. We propose an alternative method of flow detection using the spatial coherence of backscattered ultrasound echoes. The method enhances slow flow detection and frame rate, while maintaining or improving the signal quality of conventional power Doppler techniques. The feasibility of this method is demonstrated with simulations, flow-phantom experiments, and an in vivo human thyroid study. In comparison with conventional power Doppler imaging, the proposed method can produce Doppler images with 15- to 30-dB SNR improvement. Therefore, the method is able to detect flow with velocities approximately 50% lower than conventional power Doppler, or improve the frame rate by a factor of 3 with comparable image quality. The results show promise for clinical applications of the method.

    View details for DOI 10.1109/TUFFC.2014.006793

    View details for Web of Science ID 000356162000005

    View details for PubMedID 26067037

  • Harmonic Spatial Coherence Imaging: An Ultrasonic Imaging Method Based on Backscatter Coherence IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ULTRASONICS FERROELECTRICS AND FREQUENCY CONTROL Dahl, J. J., Jakovljevic, M., Pinton, G. F., Trahey, G. E. 2012; 59 (4): 648-659

    Abstract

    We introduce a harmonic version of the short-lag spatial coherence (SLSC) imaging technique, called harmonic spatial coherence imaging (HSCI). The method is based on the coherence of the second-harmonic backscatter. Because the same signals that are used to construct harmonic B-mode images are also used to construct HSCI images, the benefits obtained with harmonic imaging are also obtained with HSCI. Harmonic imaging has been the primary tool for suppressing clutter in diagnostic ultrasound imaging, however secondharmonic echoes are not necessarily immune to the effects of clutter. HSCI and SLSC imaging are less sensitive to clutter because clutter has low spatial coherence. HSCI shows favorable imaging characteristics such as improved contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), improved speckle SNR, and better delineation of borders and other structures compared with fundamental and harmonic B-mode imaging. CNRs of up to 1.9 were obtained from in vivo imaging of human cardiac tissue with HSCI, compared with 0.6, 0.9, and 1.5 in fundamental B-mode, harmonic B-mode, and SLSC imaging, respectively. In vivo experiments in human liver tissue demonstrated SNRs of up to 3.4 for HSCI compared with 1.9 for harmonic B-mode. Nonlinear simulations of a heart chamber model were consistent with the in vivo experiments.

    View details for DOI 10.1109/TUFFC.2012.2243

    View details for Web of Science ID 000303405500004

    View details for PubMedID 22547276

  • Short-Lag Spatial Coherence of Backscattered Echoes: Imaging Characteristics IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ULTRASONICS FERROELECTRICS AND FREQUENCY CONTROL Lediju, M. A., Trahey, G. E., Byram, B. C., Dahl, J. J. 2011; 58 (7): 1377-1388

    Abstract

    Conventional ultrasound images are formed by delay-and-sum beamforming of the backscattered echoes received by individual elements of the transducer aperture. Although the delay-and-sum beamformer is well suited for ultrasound image formation, it is corrupted by speckle noise and challenged by acoustic clutter and phase aberration. We propose an alternative method of imaging utilizing the short-lag spatial coherence (SLSC) of the backscattered echoes. Compared with matched B-mode images, SLSC images demonstrate superior SNR and contrast-to-noise ratio in simulated and experimental speckle-generating phantom targets, but are shown to be challenged by limited point target conspicuity. Matched B-mode and SLSC images of a human thyroid are presented. The challenges and opportunities of real-time implementation of SLSC imaging are discussed.

    View details for DOI 10.1109/TUFFC.2011.1957

    View details for Web of Science ID 000293688700009

    View details for PubMedID 21768022

  • Sources of Image Degradation in Fundamental and Harmonic Ultrasound Imaging: A Nonlinear, Full-Wave, Simulation Study (vol 58, pg 754, 2011) IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ULTRASONICS FERROELECTRICS AND FREQUENCY CONTROL Pinton, G. F., Trahey, G. E., Dahl, J. J. 2011; 58 (6): 1272-1283

    Abstract

    A full-wave equation that describes nonlinear propagation in a heterogeneous attenuating medium is solved numerically with finite differences in the time domain. This numerical method is used to simulate propagation of a diagnostic ultrasound pulse through a measured representation of the human abdomen with heterogeneities in speed of sound, attenuation, density, and nonlinearity. Conventional delay-and-sum beamforming is used to generate point spread functions (PSFs) that display the effects of these heterogeneities. For the particular imaging configuration that is modeled, these PSFs reveal that the primary source of degradation in fundamental imaging is due to reverberation from near-field structures. Compared with fundamental imaging, reverberation clutter in harmonic imaging is 27.1 dB lower. Simulated tissue with uniform velocity but unchanged impedance characteristics indicates that for harmonic imaging, the primary source of degradation is phase aberration.

    View details for DOI 10.1109/TUFFC.2011.1938

    View details for Web of Science ID 000291880200021

    View details for PubMedID 21693410

  • ACOUSTIC RADIATION FORCE IMPULSE IMAGING FOR NONINVASIVE CHARACTERIZATION OF CAROTID ARTERY ATHEROSCLEROTIC PLAQUES: A FEASIBILITY STUDY ULTRASOUND IN MEDICINE AND BIOLOGY Dahl, J. J., Dumont, D. M., Allen, J. D., Miller, E. M., Trahey, G. E. 2009; 35 (5): 707-716

    Abstract

    Atherosclerotic disease in the carotid artery is a risk factor for stroke. The susceptibility of atherosclerotic plaque to rupture, however, is challenging to determine by any imaging method. In this study, acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) imaging is applied to atherosclerotic disease in the carotid artery to determine the feasibility of using ARFI to noninvasively characterize carotid plaques. ARFI imaging is a useful method for characterizing the local mechanical properties of tissue and is complementary to B-mode imaging. ARFI imaging can readily distinguish between stiff and soft regions of tissue. High-resolution images of both homogeneous and heterogeneous plaques were observed. Homogeneous plaques were indistinguishable in stiffness from vascular tissue. However, they showed thicknesses much greater than normal vascular tissue. In heterogeneous plaques, large and small soft regions were observed, with the smallest observed soft region having a diameter of 0.5 mm. A stiff cap was observed covering the large soft tissue region, with the cap thickness ranging from 0.7-1.3 mm.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2008.11.001

    View details for Web of Science ID 000265990500001

    View details for PubMedID 19243877

  • Quantifying hepatic shear modulus in vivo using acoustic radiation force ULTRASOUND IN MEDICINE AND BIOLOGY Palmeri, M. L., Wang, M. H., Dahl, J. J., Frinkley, K. D., Nightingale, K. R. 2008; 34 (4): 546-558

    Abstract

    The speed at which shear waves propagate in tissue can be used to quantify the shear modulus of the tissue. As many groups have shown, shear waves can be generated within tissues using focused, impulsive, acoustic radiation force excitations, and the resulting displacement response can be ultrasonically tracked through time. The goals of the work herein are twofold: (i) to develop and validate an algorithm to quantify shear wave speed from radiation force-induced, ultrasonically-detected displacement data that is robust in the presence of poor displacement signal-to-noise ratio and (ii) to apply this algorithm to in vivo datasets acquired in human volunteers to demonstrate the clinical feasibility of using this method to quantify the shear modulus of liver tissue in longitudinal studies. The ultimate clinical application of this work is noninvasive quantification of liver stiffness in the setting of fibrosis and steatosis. In the proposed algorithm, time-to-peak displacement data in response to impulsive acoustic radiation force outside the region of excitation are used to characterize the shear wave speed of a material, which is used to reconstruct the material's shear modulus. The algorithm is developed and validated using finite element method simulations. By using this algorithm on simulated displacement fields, reconstructions for materials with shear moduli (mu) ranging from 1.3-5 kPa are accurate to within 0.3 kPa, whereas stiffer shear moduli ranging from 10-16 kPa are accurate to within 1.0 kPa. Ultrasonically tracking the displacement data, which introduces jitter in the displacement estimates, does not impede the use of this algorithm to reconstruct accurate shear moduli. By using in vivo data acquired intercostally in 20 volunteers with body mass indices ranging from normal to obese, liver shear moduli have been reconstructed between 0.9 and 3.0 kPa, with an average precision of +/-0.4 kPa. These reconstructed liver moduli are consistent with those reported in the literature (mu = 0.75-2.5 kPa) with a similar precision (+/-0.3 kPa). Repeated intercostal liver shear modulus reconstructions were performed on nine different days in two volunteers over a 105-day period, yielding an average shear modulus of 1.9 +/- 0.50 kPa (1.3-2.5 kPa) in the first volunteer and 1.8 +/- 0.4 kPa (1.1-3.0 kPa) in the second volunteer. The simulation and in vivo data to date demonstrate that this method is capable of generating accurate and repeatable liver stiffness measurements and appears promising as a clinical tool for quantifying liver stiffness.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2007.10.009

    View details for Web of Science ID 000254766500005

    View details for PubMedID 18222031

  • A parallel tracking method for acoustic radiation force impulse imaging IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ULTRASONICS FERROELECTRICS AND FREQUENCY CONTROL Dahl, J. J., Pinton, G. F., Palmeri, M. L., Agrawal, V., Nightingale, K. R., Trahey, G. E. 2007; 54 (2): 301-312

    Abstract

    Radiation force-based techniques have been developed by several groups for imaging the mechanical properties of tissue. Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse (ARFI) imaging is one such method that uses commercially available scanners to generate localized radiation forces in tissue. The response of the tissue to the radiation force is determined using conventional B-mode imaging pulses to track micron-scale displacements in tissue. Current research in ARFI imaging is focused on producing real-time images of tissue displacements and related mechanical properties. Obstacles to producing a real-time ARFI imaging modality include data acquisition, processing power, data transfer rates, heating of the transducer, and patient safety concerns. We propose a parallel receive beamforming technique to reduce transducer heating and patient acoustic exposure, and to facilitate data acquisition for real-time ARFI imaging. Custom beam sequencing was used with a commercially available scanner to track tissue displacements with parallel-receive beamforming in tissue-mimicking phantoms. Using simulations, the effects of material properties on parallel tracking are observed. Transducer and tissue heating for parallel tracking are compared to standard ARFI beam sequencing. The effects of tracking beam position and size of the tracked region are also discussed in relation to the size and temporal response of the region of applied force, and the impact on ARFI image contrast and signal-to-noise ratio are quantified.

    View details for DOI 10.1109/TUFFC.2007.244

    View details for Web of Science ID 000243920900010

    View details for PubMedID 17328327

  • Effects of Phase Aberration Correction Methods on the Minimum Variance Beamformer 2016 IEEE 38th Annual International Conference of the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC) Chau, G. R., Dahl, J. J., Lavarello, R. J. : 3231–34
  • Angular coherence in ultrasound imaging: Theory and applications JOURNAL OF THE ACOUSTICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA Li, Y. L., Dahl, J. J. 2017; 141 (3): 1582-1594

    Abstract

    The popularity of plane-wave transmits at multiple transmit angles for synthetic transmit aperture (or coherent compounding) has spawned a number of adaptations and new developments of ultrasonic imaging. However, the coherence properties of backscattered signals with plane-wave transmits at different angles are unknown and may impact a subset of these techniques. To provide a framework for the analysis of the coherence properties of such signals, this article introduces the angular coherence theory in medical ultrasound imaging. The theory indicates that the correlation function of such signals forms a Fourier transform pair with autocorrelation function of the receive aperture function. This conclusion can be considered as an extended form of the van Cittert Zernike theorem. The theory is validated with simulation and experimental results obtained on speckle targets. On the basis of the angular coherence of the backscattered wave, a new short-lag angular coherence beamformer is proposed and compared with an existing spatial-coherence-based beamformer. An application of the theory in phase shift estimation and speed of sound estimation is also presented.

    View details for DOI 10.1121/1.4976960

    View details for Web of Science ID 000398962500043

    View details for PubMedID 28372139

  • Efficient Strategies for Estimating the Spatial Coherence of Backscatter IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ULTRASONICS FERROELECTRICS AND FREQUENCY CONTROL Hyun, D., Crowley, A. L., Dahl, J. J. 2017; 64 (3): 500-513
  • Visualization of Small-Diameter Vessels by Reduction of Incoherent Reverberation With Coherent Flow Power Doppler. IEEE transactions on ultrasonics, ferroelectrics, and frequency control Li, Y. L., Hyun, D., Abou-Elkacem, L., Willmann, J. K., Dahl, J. J. 2016; 63 (11): 1878-1889

    Abstract

    Power Doppler (PD) imaging is a widely used technique for flow detection. Despite the wide use of Doppler ultrasound, limitations exist in the ability of Doppler ultrasound to assess slow flow in the small-diameter vasculature, such as the maternal spiral arteries and fetal villous arteries of the placenta and focal liver lesions. The sensitivity of PD in small vessel detection is limited by the low signal produced by slow flow and the noise associated with small vessels. The noise sources include electronic noise, stationary or slowly moving tissue clutter, reverberation clutter, and off-axis scattering from tissue, among others. In order to provide more sensitive detection of slow flow in small diameter vessels, a coherent flow imaging technique, termed coherent flow PD (CFPD), is characterized and evaluated with simulation, flow phantom experiment studies, and an in vivo animal small vessel detection study. CFPD imaging was introduced as a technique to detect slow blood flow. It has been demonstrated to detect slow flow below the detection threshold of conventional PD imaging using identical pulse sequences and filter parameters. In this paper, we compare CFPD with PD in the detection of blood flow in small-diameter vessels. The results from the study suggest that CFPD is able to provide a 7.5-12.5-dB increase in the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) over PD images for the same physiological conditions and is less susceptible to reverberation clutter and thermal noise. Due to the increase in SNR, CFPD is able to detect small vessels in high channel noise cases, for which PD was unable to generate enough contrast to observe the vessel.

    View details for PubMedID 27824565

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5154731

  • Advances in Ultrasonic Imaging Technology Advances in Medical Physics – 2016 Herickhoff, C. D., Dahl, J. J. Medical Physics Publishing. 2016: 71–96
  • Comparison of Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse Imaging Derived Carotid Plaque Stiffness With Spatially Registered MRI Determined Composition IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON MEDICAL IMAGING Doherty, J. R., Dahl, J. J., Kranz, P. G., El Husseini, N., Chang, H., Chen, N., Allen, J. D., Ham, K. L., Trahey, G. E. 2015; 34 (11): 2354-2365

    View details for DOI 10.1109/TMI.2015.2432797

    View details for Web of Science ID 000364461000013

    View details for PubMedID 25974933

  • Resolution and Brightness Characteristics of Short-Lag Spatial Coherence (SLSC) Images IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ULTRASONICS FERROELECTRICS AND FREQUENCY CONTROL Bell, M. A., Dahl, J. J., Trahey, G. E. 2015; 62 (7): 1265-1276

    Abstract

    We previously described a novel beamforming method that images the spatial correlation of an echo wave field with demonstrated applications to clutter reduction in high-noise environments. In this paper, several characteristics of the resolution and brightness of short-lag spatial coherence (SLSC) images formed by this method are compared with B-mode images formed by conventional delay-and-sum beamforming methods. Point target widths were measured to estimate resolution, the autocorrelation of image texture was measured to estimate texture size, and the contrast (i.e., brightness ratio) of clinically relevant targets was assessed. SLSC images demonstrate improved resolution and contrast with increasing values of channel noise and clutter, whereas B-mode resolution was degraded in the presence of high noise (i.e., > -12 dB channel noise-to-signal ratios) and high clutter magnitudes (i.e., > -21 dB relative to point target magnitude). Lateral resolution in SLSC images was improved with increasing lag value, whereas axial resolution was degraded with increasing correlation kernel length. The texture size of SLSC images was smaller than that of matched B-mode images. Results demonstrate that the resolution and contrast of coherence-based images depend on a range of parameters, but are generally superior to those of matched B-mode images under challenging imaging conditions.

    View details for DOI 10.1109/TUFFC.2014.006909

    View details for Web of Science ID 000357960000004

    View details for PubMedID 26168173

  • In Vivo Application of Short-Lag Spatial Coherence and Harmonic Spatial Coherence Imaging in Fetal Ultrasound ULTRASONIC IMAGING Kakkad, V., Dahl, J., Ellestad, S., Trahey, G. 2015; 37 (2): 101-116

    Abstract

    Fetal scanning is one of the most common applications of ultrasound imaging and serves as a source of vital information about maternal and fetal health. Visualization of clinically relevant structures, however, can be severely compromised in difficult-to-image patients due to poor resolution and the presence of high levels of acoustical noise or clutter. We have developed novel coherence-based beamforming methods called Short-Lag Spatial Coherence (SLSC) imaging and Harmonic Spatial Coherence imaging (HSCI), and applied them to suppress the effects of clutter in fetal imaging. This method is used to create images of the spatial coherence of the backscattered ultrasound as opposed to images of echo magnitude. We present the results of a patient study to assess the benefits of coherence-based beamforming in the context of first trimester fetal exams. Matched fundamental B-mode, SLSC, harmonic B-mode, and HSCI images were generated using raw radio frequency data collected on 11 volunteers in the first trimester of pregnancy. The images were compared for qualitative differences in image texture and target conspicuity as well as using quantitative imaging metrics such as signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), and contrast. SLSC and HSCI showed statistically significant improvements across all imaging metrics compared with B-mode and harmonic B-mode, respectively. These improvements were greatest for poor quality B-mode images where contrast of anechoic targets was improved from 15 dB in fundamental B-mode to 27 dB in SLSC and 17 dB in harmonic B-mode to 30 dB in HSCI. CNR improved from 1.4 to 2.5 in the fundamental images and 1.4 to 3.1 in the harmonic case. These results exhibit the potential of coherence-based beamforming to improve image quality and target detectability, especially in high noise environments.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/0161734614547281

    View details for Web of Science ID 000350487500002

    View details for PubMedID 25116292

  • Intravascular acoustic radiation force imaging: Feasibility study IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS) Herickhoff, C. D., Dahl, J. J. 2015

    View details for DOI 10.1109/ULTSYM.2015.0118

  • Coherence Beamforming Applied to Velocity Estimation and Partially Coherent Signals IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS) Dahl, J. J., You, L., Hyun, D., Doherty, J. R. 2015

    View details for DOI 10.1109/ULTSYM.2015.0013

  • Small-diameter Vasculature Detection with Coherent Flow Power Doppler Imaging IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS) You, L., Dahl, J. J. 2015

    View details for DOI 10.1109/ULTSYM.2015.0012

  • Real-Time High-Framerate In Vivo Cardiac SLSC Imaging with a GPU-Based Beamformer IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS) Hyun, D., Trahey, G. E., Dahl, J. J. 2015

    View details for DOI 10.1109/ULTSYM.2015.0077

  • Spatial Coherence in Human Tissue: Implications for Imaging and Measurement IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ULTRASONICS FERROELECTRICS AND FREQUENCY CONTROL Pinton, G. F., Trahey, G. E., Dahl, J. J. 2014; 61 (12): 1976-1987

    Abstract

    The spatial coherence properties of the signal backscattered by human tissue and measured by an ultrasound transducer array are investigated. Fourier acoustics are used to describe the propagation of ultrasound through a model of tissue that includes reverberation and random scattering in the imaging plane. The theoretical development describes how the near-field tissue layer, transducer aperture properties, and reflectivity function at the focus reduce the spatial coherence of the imaging wave measured at the transducer surface. Simulations are used to propagate the acoustic field through a histologically characterized sample of the human abdomen and to validate the theoretical predictions. In vivo measurements performed with a diagnostic ultrasound scanner demonstrate that simulations and theory closely match the measured spatial coherence characteristics in the human body across the transducer array's entire spatial extent. The theoretical framework and simulations are then used to describe the physics of spatial coherence imaging, a type of ultrasound imaging that measures coherence properties instead of echo brightness. The same echo data from an F/2 transducer was used to generate B-mode and short lag spatial coherence images. For an anechoic lesion at the focus, the contrast-to-noise ratio is 1.21 for conventional B-mode imaging and 1.95 for spatial coherence imaging. It is shown that the contrast in spatial coherence imaging depends on the properties of the near-field tissue layer and the backscattering function in the focal plane.

    View details for DOI 10.1109/TUFFC.2014.006362

    View details for Web of Science ID 000345944300006

    View details for PubMedID 25474774

  • Short-Lag Spatial Coherence Imaging on Matrix Arrays, Part II: Phantom and In Vivo Experiments IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ULTRASONICS FERROELECTRICS AND FREQUENCY CONTROL Jakovljevic, M., Byram, B. C., Hyun, D., Dahl, J. J., Trahey, G. E. 2014; 61 (7): 1113-1122

    Abstract

    In Part I of the paper, we demonstrated through simulation the potential of volumetric short-lag spatial coherence (SLSC) imaging to improve visualization of hypoechoic targets in three dimensions. Here, we demonstrate the application of volumetric SLSC imaging in phantom and in vivo experiments using a clinical 3-D ultrasound scanner and matrix array. Using a custom single-channel acquisition tool, we collected partially beamformed channel data from the fully sampled matrix array at high speeds and created matched Bmode and SLSC volumes of a vessel phantom and in vivo liver vasculature. 2-D and 3-D images rendered from the SLSC volumes display reduced clutter and improved visibility of the vessels when compared with their B-mode counterparts. We use concurrently acquired color Doppler volumes to confirm the presence of the vessels of interest and to define the regions inside the vessels used in contrast and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) calculations. SLSC volumes show higher CNR values than their matched B-mode volumes, while the contrast values appear to be similar between the two imaging methods.

    View details for DOI 10.1109/TUFFC.2014.3011

    View details for Web of Science ID 000338665500005

    View details for PubMedID 24960701

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4234201

  • Short-Lag Spatial Coherence Imaging on Matrix Arrays, Part I: Beamforming Methods and Simulation Studies IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ULTRASONICS FERROELECTRICS AND FREQUENCY CONTROL Hyun, D., Trahey, G. E., Jakovljevic, M., Dahl, J. J. 2014; 61 (7): 1101-1112

    Abstract

    Short-lag spatial coherence (SLSC) imaging is a beamforming technique that has demonstrated improved imaging performance compared with conventional B-mode imaging in previous studies. Thus far, the use of 1-D arrays has limited coherence measurements and SLSC imaging to a single dimension. Here, the SLSC algorithm is extended for use on 2-D matrix array transducers and applied in a simulation study examining imaging performance as a function of subaperture configuration and of incoherent channel noise. SLSC images generated with a 2-D array yielded superior contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) and texture SNR measurements over SLSC images made on a corresponding 1-D array and over B-mode imaging. SLSC images generated with square subapertures were found to be superior to SLSC images generated with subapertures of equal surface area that spanned the whole array in one dimension. Subaperture beamforming was found to have little effect on SLSC imaging performance for subapertures up to 8 x 8 elements in size on a 64 × 64 element transducer. Additionally, the use of 8 x 8, 4 x 4, and 2 x 2 element subapertures provided 8, 4, and 2 times improvement in channel SNR along with 2640-, 328-, and 25-fold reduction in computation time, respectively. These results indicate that volumetric SLSC imaging is readily applicable to existing 2-D arrays that employ subaperture beamforming.

    View details for DOI 10.1109/TUFFC.2014.3010

    View details for Web of Science ID 000338665500004

    View details for PubMedID 24960700

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4235772

  • Estimation of shear wave speed in the human uterine cervix ULTRASOUND IN OBSTETRICS & GYNECOLOGY Carlson, L. C., Feltovich, H., Palmeri, M. L., Dahl, J. J., Munoz Del Rio, A., Hall, T. J. 2014; 43 (4): 452-458

    Abstract

    To explore spatial variability within the cervix and the sensitivity of shear wave speed (SWS) to assess softness/stiffness differences in ripened (softened) vs unripened tissue.We obtained SWS estimates from hysterectomy specimens (n = 22), a subset of which were ripened (n = 13). Multiple measurements were made longitudinally along the cervical canal on both the anterior and posterior sides of the cervix. Statistical tests of differences in the proximal vs distal, anterior vs posterior and ripened vs unripened cervix were performed with individual two-sample t-tests and a linear mixed model.Estimates of SWS increase monotonically from distal to proximal longitudinally along the cervix, they vary in the anterior compared to the posterior cervix and they are significantly different in ripened vs unripened cervical tissue. Specifically, the mid position SWS estimates for the unripened group were 3.45 ± 0.95 m/s (anterior; mean ± SD) and 3.56 ± 0.92 m/s (posterior), and 2.11 ± 0.45 m/s (anterior) and 2.68 ± 0.57 m/s (posterior) for the ripened group (P < 0.001).We propose that SWS estimation may be a valuable research and, ultimately, diagnostic tool for objective quantification of cervical stiffness/softness.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/uog.12555

    View details for Web of Science ID 000333696800013

    View details for PubMedID 23836486

  • Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse Imaging (ARFI) on an IVUS Circular Array ULTRASONIC IMAGING Patel, V., Dahl, J. J., Bradway, D. P., Doherty, J. R., Lee, S. Y., Smith, S. W. 2014; 36 (2): 98-111

    Abstract

    Our long-term goal is the detection and characterization of vulnerable plaque in the coronary arteries of the heart using intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) catheters. Vulnerable plaque, characterized by a thin fibrous cap and a soft, lipid-rich necrotic core is a precursor to heart attack and stroke. Early detection of such plaques may potentially alter the course of treatment of the patient to prevent ischemic events. We have previously described the characterization of carotid plaques using external linear arrays operating at 9 MHz. In addition, we previously modified circular array IVUS catheters by short-circuiting several neighboring elements to produce fixed beamwidths for intravascular hyperthermia applications. In this paper, we modified Volcano Visions 8.2 French, 9 MHz catheters and Volcano Platinum 3.5 French, 20 MHz catheters by short-circuiting portions of the array for acoustic radiation force impulse imaging (ARFI) applications. The catheters had an effective transmit aperture size of 2 mm and 1.5 mm, respectively. The catheters were connected to a Verasonics scanner and driven with pushing pulses of 180 V p-p to acquire ARFI data from a soft gel phantom with a Young's modulus of 2.9 kPa. The dynamic response of the tissue-mimicking material demonstrates a typical ARFI motion of 1 to 2 microns as the gel phantom displaces away and recovers back to its normal position. The hardware modifications applied to our IVUS catheters mimic potential beamforming modifications that could be implemented on IVUS scanners. Our results demonstrate that the generation of radiation force from IVUS catheters and the development of intravascular ARFI may be feasible.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/0161734613511595

    View details for Web of Science ID 000331541600002

    View details for PubMedID 24554291

  • REVERBERATION CLUTTER FROM SUBCUTANEOUS TISSUE LAYERS: SIMULATION AND IN VIVO DEMONSTRATIONS ULTRASOUND IN MEDICINE AND BIOLOGY Dahl, J. J., Sheth, N. M. 2014; 40 (4): 714-726

    Abstract

    The degradation of ultrasonic image quality is typically attributed to aberration and reverberation. Although the sources and impact of aberration are well understood, very little is known about the source and impact of image degradation caused by reverberation. Reverberation is typically associated with multiple reflections at two interfaces along the same propagation path, as with the arterial wall or a metal sphere. However, the reverberation that results in image degradation includes more complex interaction between the propagating wave and the tissue. Simulations of wave propagation in realistic and simplified models of the abdominal wall are used to illustrate the characteristics of coherent and diffuse clutter generated by reverberation. In the realistic models, diffuse reverberation clutter is divided into that originating from the tissue interfaces and that originating from sub-resolution diffuse scatterers. In the simplified models, the magnitude of the reverberation clutter is observed as angle and density of the connective tissue are altered. The results suggest that multi-path scattering from the connective tissue/fat interfaces is a dominant component of reverberation clutter. Diffuse reverberation clutter is maximal when the connective tissue is near normal to the beam direction and increases with the density of connective tissue layers at these large angles. The presence of a thick fascial or fibrous layer at the distal boundary of the abdominal wall magnifies the amount of reverberation clutter. The simulations also illustrate that compression of the abdominal layer, a technique often used to mitigate clutter in overweight and obese patients, increases the decay of reverberation clutter with depth. In addition, rotation of the transducer or steering of the beam with respect to highly reflecting boundaries can reduce coherent clutter and transform it to diffuse clutter, which can be further reduced using coherence-based beamforming techniques. In vivo images of the human bladder illustrate some of the reverberation effects observed in simulation.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2013.11.029

    View details for Web of Science ID 000332027300007

    View details for PubMedID 24530261

  • Accuracy of backscatter coefficient estimation in aberrating media using different phase aberration correction strategies – a simulation study IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS) Gonzalez, E., Sheth, N., Castaneda, B., Dahl, J. J., Lavarello, R. 2014: 2438–41
  • Flow detection based on the spatial coherence of backscattered echoes IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS) Li, Y., Dahl, J. J. 2014: 428–31
  • Sparse sampling methods for efficient spatial coherence estimation IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS) Hyun, D., Trahey, G. E., Dahl, J. J. 2014: 535–38
  • Harmonic Tracking of Acoustic Radiation Force-Induced Displacements IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ULTRASONICS FERROELECTRICS AND FREQUENCY CONTROL Doherty, J. R., Dahl, J. J., Trahey, G. E. 2013; 60 (11): 2347-2358

    Abstract

    Ultrasound-based elasticity imaging methods rely upon accurate estimates of tissue deformation to characterize the mechanical properties of soft tissues. These methods are corrupted by clutter, which can bias and/or increase variance in displacement estimates. Harmonic imaging methods are routinely used for clutter suppression and improved image quality in conventional B-mode ultrasound, but have not been utilized in ultrasound-based elasticity imaging methods. We introduce a novel, fully-sampled pulse-inversion harmonic method for tracking tissue displacements that corrects the loss in temporal sampling frequency associated with conventional pulse-inversion techniques. The method is implemented with acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) imaging to monitor the displacements induced by an impulsive acoustic radiation force excitation. Custom pulse sequences were implemented on a diagnostic ultrasound scanner to collect spatially-matched fundamental and harmonic information within a single acquisition. B-mode and ARFI images created from fundamental data collected at 4 MHz and 8 MHz are compared with 8-MHz harmonic images created using a band-pass filter approach and the fully sampled pulse-inversion method. In homogeneous, tissue-mimicking phantoms, where no visible clutter was observed, there was little difference in the axial displacements, estimated jitter, and normalized cross-correlation among the fundamental and harmonic tracking methods. The similarity of the lower- and higher-frequency methods suggests that any improvement resulting from the increased frequency of the harmonic components is negligible. The harmonic tracking methods demonstrated a marked improvement in B-mode and ARFI image quality of in vivo carotid arteries. Improved feature detection and decreased variance in estimated displacements were observed in the arterial walls of harmonic ARFI images, especially in the pulse-inversion harmonic ARFI images. Within the lumen, the harmonic tracking methods improved the discrimination of the blood–vessel interface, making it easier to visualize plaque boundaries. Improvements in harmonic ARFI images in vivo were consistent with suppressed clutter supported by improved contrast and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) in the matched harmonic B-mode images compared with the fundamental B-mode images. These results suggest that harmonic tracking methods can improve the clinical utility and diagnostic accuracy of ultrasound-based elasticity imaging methods.

    View details for DOI 10.1109/TUFFC.2013.2831

    View details for Web of Science ID 000327729700011

    View details for PubMedID 24158290

  • SHORT-LAG SPATIAL COHERENCE IMAGING OF CARDIAC ULTRASOUND DATA: INITIAL CLINICAL RESULTS ULTRASOUND IN MEDICINE AND BIOLOGY Bell, M. A., Goswami, R., Kisslo, J. A., Dahl, J. J., Trahey, G. E. 2013; 39 (10): 1861-1874

    Abstract

    Short-lag spatial coherence (SLSC) imaging is a novel beamforming technique that reduces acoustic clutter in ultrasound images. A clinical study was conducted to investigate clutter reduction and endocardial border detection in cardiac SLSC images. Individual channel echo data were acquired from the left ventricle of 14 volunteers, after informed consent and institutional review board approval. Paired B-mode and SLSC images were created from these data. Contrast, contrast-to-noise, and signal-to-noise ratios were measured in paired images, and these metrics were improved with SLSC imaging in most cases. Three cardiology fellows rated the visibility of endocardial segments in randomly ordered B-mode and SLSC cine loops. SLSC imaging offered 22%-33% improvement (p < 0.05) in endocardial border visibility when B-mode image quality was poor (i.e., 80% or more of the endocardial segments could not be visualized by the three reviewers). The percentage of volunteers with poor-quality images was decreased from 21% to 7% with the SLSC beamformer. Results suggest that SLSC imaging has the potential to improve clinical cardiac assessments that are challenged by clutter.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2013.03.029

    View details for Web of Science ID 000324053800014

    View details for PubMedID 23932276

  • Synthetic Aperture Focusing for Short-Lag Spatial Coherence Imaging IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ULTRASONICS FERROELECTRICS AND FREQUENCY CONTROL Bottenus, N., Byram, B. C., Dahl, J. J., Trahey, G. E. 2013; 60 (9): 1816-1826

    Abstract

    It has been demonstrated that short-lag spatial coherence (SLSC) ultrasound imaging can provide improved speckle SNR and lesion CNR compared with conventional Bmode images, especially in the presence of noise and clutter. Application of the van Cittert-Zernike theorem predicts that coherence among the ultrasound echoes received across an array is reduced significantly away from the transmit focal depth, leading to a limited axial depth of field in SLSC images. Transmit focus throughout the field of view can be achieved using synthetic aperture methods to combine multiple transmit events into a single final image. A synthetic aperture can be formed with either focused or diverging transmit beams. We explore the application of these methods to form synthetically focused channel data to create SLSC images with an extended axial depth of field. An analytical expression of SLSC image brightness through depth is derived for the dynamic receive focus case. Experimental results in a phantom and in vivo are presented and compared with dynamic receive focused SLSC images, demonstrating improved SNR and CNR away from the transmit focus and an axial depth of field four to five times longer.

    View details for DOI 10.1109/TUFFC.2013.2768

    View details for Web of Science ID 000324334900005

    View details for PubMedID 24658715

  • IN VIVO APPLICATION OF SHORT-LAG SPATIAL COHERENCE IMAGING IN HUMAN LIVER ULTRASOUND IN MEDICINE AND BIOLOGY Jakovljevic, M., Trahey, G. E., Nelson, R. C., Dahl, J. J. 2013; 39 (3): 534-542

    Abstract

    We present the results of a patient study conducted to assess the performance of two novel imaging methods, namely short-lag spatial coherence (SLSC) and harmonic spatial coherence imaging (HSCI), in an in vivo liver environment. Similar in appearance to the B-mode images, SLSC and HSCI images are based solely on the spatial coherence of fundamental and harmonic echo data, respectively, and do not depend on the echo magnitude. SLSC and HSCI suppress incoherent echo signals and thus tend to reduce clutter. The SLSC and HSCI images of 17 patients demonstrated sharper delineation of blood vessel walls, suppressed clutter inside the vessel lumen, and showed reduced speckle in surrounding tissue compared to matched B-modes. Target contrast and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) show statistically significant improvements between fundamental B-mode and SLSC imaging and between harmonic B-mode and HSCI imaging (in all cases p < 0.001). The magnitude of improvement in contrast and CNR increases as the overall quality of B-mode images decreases. Poor-quality fundamental B-mode images (where image quality classification is based on both contrast and CNR) exhibit the highest improvements in both contrast and CNR (288% improvement in contrast and 533% improvement in CNR).

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2012.09.022

    View details for Web of Science ID 000314872200015

    View details for PubMedID 23347642

  • Acoustic Radiation Force Imaging Emerging Imaging Technologies in Medicine Dahl, J. J. Taylor & Francis Group. 2013: 201–207
  • Coherent flow imaging: A power Doppler imaging technique based on backscatter spatial coherence Joint UFFC, EFTF, and PFM Symposium Dahl, J. J., Bottenus, N., Lediju Bell, M. A., Cook, M. 2013: 639–642
  • Apodization schemes for SLSC imaging: Simula- tion, phantom and in vivo demonstrations of image quality Joint UFFC, EFTF, and PFM Symposium Bottenus, N., Dahl, J. J., Trahey, G. E. 2013: 1276–1279
  • Acoustic radiation force impulse imaging (ARFI) on an IVUS circular array Joint UFFC, EFTF, and PFM Symposium Patel, V., Dahl, J., Bradway, D., Doherty, J., Lee, S. Y., Smith, S. 2013: 773–776
  • In Vivo Performance Evaluation of Short-Lag Spatial Coherence and Harmonic Spatial Coherence Imaging in Fetal Ultrasound IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS) Kakkad, V., Dahl, J., Ellestad, S., Trahey, G. 2013: 600–603
  • Spatial coherence and its relationship to human tissue: An analytical description of imaging methods Joint UFFC, EFTF, and PFM Symposium Pinton, G., Trahey, G., Dahl, J. 2013: 569–599
  • Volumetric SLSC imaging of vasculature on a clincal matrix array Joint UFFC, EFTF, and PFM Symposium Jakovljevic, M., Byram, B. C., Dahl, J. J., Trahey, G. E. 2013: 1240–43
  • Identification and impact of blocked elements in 1-D and 2-D arrays Joint UFFC, EFTF, and PFM Symposium Jakovljevic, M., Dahl, J. J., Trahey, G. E. 2013: 1296–99
  • In vivo performance evaluation of short- lag spatial coherence (SLSC) and harmonic spatial coherence (HSC) imaging in fetal ultrasound Joint UFFC, EFTF, and PFM Symposium Kakkad, V., Dahl, J., Ellestad, S., Trahey, G. 2013: 600–603
  • In Vivo demonstration of a real-time simultaneous B-mode/spatial coherence GPU-based beamformer Joint UFFC, EFTF, and PFM Symposium Hyun, D., Trahey, G. E., Dahl, J. J. 2013: 1280–83
  • A harmonic tracking method for improved visualization of arterial structures with acoustic radiation force impulse imaging Joint UFFC, EFTF, and PFM Symposium Doherty, J., Dahl, J., Allen, J., Ham, K., Trahey, G. 2013: 1769–72
  • Recent Advances in Ultrasonic Imaging and Ultrasonic Imaging Technology Advances in Medical Physics – 2012 Dahl, J. J., Trahey, G. E. Medical Physics Publishing. 2012: 219–234
  • Comparative evaluation of wavefront coherence imaging methods in the presence of clutter IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS) Dahl, J. J., Trahey, G. E. 2012: 1977–1981
  • Clinical realization of SLSC imaging on 2D arrays IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium Jakovljevic, M., Hyun, D., Byram, B. C., Trahey, G. E., Dahl, J. J. 2012: 2266–2269
  • A harmonic tracking method for acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) imaging EEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS) Doherty, J., Dahl, J. J., Trahey, G. E. 2012: 208–211
  • Efficient strategies for estimating spatial coherence on matrix probes IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium Hyun, D., Trahey, G. E., Dahl, J. J. 2012: 117–120
  • Application of synthetic aperture focusing to short-lag spatial coherence IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS) Bottenus, N., Hyun, D., Dahl, J. J., Trahey, G. E., Byram, B. C. 2012: 2262–2265
  • Improved visualization of endocardial borders with short-lag spatial coherence imaging of fundamental and harmonic ultrasound data EEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS) Lediju Bell, M. A., Goswami, R., Dahl, J. J., Trahey, G. E. 2012: 2129–2132
  • The development and potential of acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) imaging for carotid artery plaque characterization VASCULAR MEDICINE Allen, J. D., Ham, K. L., Dumont, D. M., Sileshi, B., Trahey, G. E., Dahl, J. J. 2011; 16 (4): 302-311

    Abstract

    Stroke is the third leading cause of death and long-term disability in the USA. Currently, surgical intervention decisions in asymptomatic patients are based upon the degree of carotid artery stenosis. While there is a clear benefit of endarterectomy for patients with severe (> 70%) stenosis, in those with high/moderate (50-69%) stenosis the evidence is less clear. Evidence suggests ischemic stroke is associated less with calcified and fibrous plaques than with those containing softer tissue, especially when accompanied by a thin fibrous cap. A reliable mechanism for the identification of individuals with atherosclerotic plaques which confer the highest risk for stroke is fundamental to the selection of patients for vascular interventions. Acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) imaging is a new ultrasonic-based imaging method that characterizes the mechanical properties of tissue by measuring displacement resulting from the application of acoustic radiation force. These displacements provide information about the local stiffness of tissue and can differentiate between soft and hard areas. Because arterial walls, soft tissue, atheromas, and calcifications have a wide range in their stiffness properties, they represent excellent candidates for ARFI imaging. We present information from early phantom experiments and excised human limb studies to in vivo carotid artery scans and provide evidence for the ability of ARFI to provide high-quality images which highlight mechanical differences in tissue stiffness not readily apparent in matched B-mode images. This allows ARFI to identify soft from hard plaques and differentiate characteristics associated with plaque vulnerability or stability.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/1358863X11400936

    View details for Web of Science ID 000293699400009

    View details for PubMedID 21447606

  • Lesion Detectability in Diagnostic Ultrasound with Short-Lag Spatial Coherence Imaging ULTRASONIC IMAGING Dahl, J. J., Hyun, D., Lediju, M., Trahey, G. E. 2011; 33 (2): 119-133

    Abstract

    We demonstrate a novel imaging technique, named short-lag spatial coherence (SLSC) imaging, which uses short distance (or lag) values of the coherence function of backscattered ultrasound to create images. Simulations using Field II are used to demonstrate the detection of lesions of varying sizes and contrasts with and without acoustical clutter in the backscattered data. B-mode and SLSC imaging are shown to be nearly equivalent in lesion detection, based on the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) of the lesion, in noise-free conditions. The CNR of the SLSC image, however, can be adjusted to achieve an optimal value at the expense of image smoothness and resolution. In the presence of acoustic clutter, SLSC imaging yields significantly higher CNR than B-mode imaging and maintains higher image quality than B-mode with increasing noise. Compression of SLSC images is shown to be required under high-noise conditions but is unnecessary under no- and low-noise conditions. SLSC imaging is applied to in vivo imaging of the carotid sheath and demonstrates significant gains in CNR as well as visualization of arterioles in the carotid sheath. SLSC imaging has a potential application to clutter rejection in ultrasonic imaging.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000291961800003

    View details for PubMedID 21710827

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3141297

  • Improved detectability of hypoechoic regions with short-lag spatial coherence imaging SPIE Medical Imaging Jakovljevic, M., Dahl, J. J., Trahey, G. E. 2011
  • A novel imaging technique based on the spatial coherence of backscattered waves: Demonstration in the presence of acoustical clutter SPIE Medical Imaging Dahl, J. J., Pinton, G. F., Lediju, M., Trahey, G. E. 2011
  • Development and evaluation of pulse sequences for freehand ARFI imaging IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium Doherty, J. R., Dumont, D. M., Hyun, D., Dahl, J. J., Trahey, G. E. 2011: 1281–1284
  • Resolution, apodization, and noise considerations in short-lag spatial coherence (SLSC) images compared to B-mode images IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS) Lediju Bell, M. A., Dahl, J. J., Trahey, G. E. 2011
  • Characteristics of the spatial coherence function from backscattered ultrasound with phase aberration and reverberation clutter IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium Pinton, G. F., Trahey, G. E., Dahl, J. J. 2011: 684–687
  • Comparison of ultrasonic measurements of nulliparous versus multiparous cervices IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS) Reush, L. M., Carlson, L., Palmeri, M. L., Dahl, J. J., Feltovich, H., Hall, T. J. 2011: 1349–1352
  • In Vivo application of SLSC imaging in human liver IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS) Jakovljevic, M., Trahey, G. E., Dahl, J. J. 2011: 2130–2133
  • Ultrasound imaging utilizing the short-lag spatial coherence of backscattered echoes IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium Lediju, M., Byram, B. C., Trahey, G. E., Dahl, J. J. 2010: 987–990
  • The effects of image degradation on ultrasound-guided HIFU IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS) Dahl, J. J., Pinton, G. F., Trahey, G. E. 2010: 809–812
  • Impact of the structure of subcutaneous tissue on ultrasonic clutter IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium Dahl, J. J. 2010: 2167–2170
  • Impact of clutter levels on spatial covariance: Implications for imaging IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS) Pinton, G. F., Dahl, J. J., Trahey, G. E. 2010: 2171–2174
  • A Motion-Based Approach to Abdominal Clutter Reduction IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ULTRASONICS FERROELECTRICS AND FREQUENCY CONTROL Lediju, M. A., Pihl, M. J., Hsu, S. J., Dahl, J. J., Gallippi, C. M., Trahey, G. E. 2009; 56 (11): 2437-2449

    Abstract

    In ultrasound images, clutter is a noise artifact most easily observed in anechoic or hypoechoic regions. It appears as diffuse echoes overlying anatomical structures of diagnostic importance, obscuring tissue borders and reducing image contrast. A novel clutter reduction method for abdominal images is proposed, wherein the abdominal wall is displaced during successive-frame image acquisitions. A region of clutter distal to the abdominal wall was observed to move with the abdominal wall, and finite impulse response (FIR) and blind source separation (BSS) motion filters were implemented to reduce this clutter. The proposed clutter reduction method was tested in simulated and phantom data and applied to fundamental and harmonic in vivo bladder and liver images from 2 volunteers. Results show clutter reductions ranging from 0 to 18 dB in FIR-filtered images and 9 to 27 dB in BSS-filtered images. The contrast-to-noise ratio was improved by 21 to 68% and 44 to 108% in FIR- and BSS-filtered images, respectively. Improvements in contrast ranged from 4 to 12 dB. The method shows promise for reducing clutter in other abdominal images.

    View details for DOI 10.1109/TUFFC.2009.1331

    View details for Web of Science ID 000271478600012

    View details for PubMedID 19942530

  • Comparison of 3-D Multi-Lag Cross-Correlation and Speckle Brightness Aberration Correction Algorithms on Static and Moving Targets IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ULTRASONICS FERROELECTRICS AND FREQUENCY CONTROL Ivancevich, N. A., Dahl, J. J., Smith, S. W. 2009; 56 (10): 2157-2166

    Abstract

    Phase correction has the potential to increase the image quality of 3-D ultrasound, especially transcranial ultrasound. We implemented and compared 2 algorithms for aberration correction, multi-lag cross-correlation and speckle brightness, using static and moving targets. We corrected three 75-ns rms electronic aberrators with full-width at half-maximum (FWHM) auto-correlation lengths of 1.35, 2.7, and 5.4 mm. Cross-correlation proved the better algorithm at 2.7 and 5.4 mm correlation lengths (P < 0.05). Static cross-correlation performed better than moving-target cross-correlation at the 2.7 mm correlation length (P < 0.05). Finally, we compared the static and moving-target cross-correlation on a flow phantom with a skull casting aberrator. Using signal from static targets, the correction resulted in an average contrast increase of 22.2%, compared with 13.2% using signal from moving targets. The contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) increased by 20.5% and 12.8% using static and moving targets, respectively. Doppler signal strength increased by 5.6% and 4.9% for the static and moving-targets methods, respectively.

    View details for DOI 10.1109/TUFFC.2009.1298

    View details for Web of Science ID 000270592000012

    View details for PubMedID 19942503

  • On the Feasibility of Imaging Peripheral Nerves Using Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse Imaging ULTRASONIC IMAGING Palmeri, M. L., Dahl, J. J., Macleod, D. B., Grant, S. A., Nightingale, K. R. 2009; 31 (3): 172-182

    Abstract

    Regional anesthesia is preferred over general anesthesia for many surgical procedures; however, challenges associated with poor image guidance limit its widespread acceptance as a viable alternative. In B-mode ultrasound images, the current standard for guidance, nerves can be difficult to visualize due to their similar acoustic impedance with surrounding tissues and needles must be aligned within the imaging plane at limited angles of approach that can impede successful peripheral nerve anesthesia. These challenges lead to inadequate regional anesthesia, necessitating intraoperative interventions, and can cause complications, including hemorrhage, intraneural injections and even nerve paralysis. ARFI imaging utilizes acoustic radiation force to generate images that portray relative tissue stiffness differences. Peripheral nerves are typically surrounded by many different tissue types (e.g., muscle, fat and fascia) that provide a mechanical basis for improved image contrast using ARFI imaging over conventional B-mode images. ARFI images of peripheral nerves and needles have been generated in cadaveric specimens and in humans in vivo. Contrast improvements of >600% have been achieved for distal sciatic nerve structures. The brachial plexus has been visualized with improved contrast over B-mode images in vivo during saline injection and ARFI images can delineate nerve bundle substructures to aid injection guidance. Physiologic motion during ARFI imaging of nerves near arterial structures has been successfully suppressed using ECG-triggered image acquisition and motion filters. This work demonstrates the feasibility of using ARFI imaging to improve the visualization of peripheral nerves during regional anesthesia procedures.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000269642100003

    View details for PubMedID 19771960

  • Lower-Limb Vascular Imaging with Acoustic Radiation Force Elastography: Demonstration of In Vivo Feasibility IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ULTRASONICS FERROELECTRICS AND FREQUENCY CONTROL Dumont, D., Dahl, J., Miller, E., Allen, J., Fahey, B., Trahey, G. 2009; 56 (5): 931-944

    Abstract

    Acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) imaging characterizes the mechanical properties of tissue by measuring displacement resulting from applied ultrasonic radiation force. In this paper, we describe the current status of ARFI imaging for lower-limb vascular applications and present results from both tissue-mimicking phantoms and in vivo experiments. Initial experiments were performed on vascular phantoms constructed with polyvinyl alcohol for basic evaluation of the modality. Multilayer vessels and vessels with compliant occlusions of varying plaque load were evaluated with ARFI imaging techniques. Phantom layers and plaque are well resolved in the ARFI images, with higher contrast than B-mode, demonstrating the ability of ARFI imaging to identify regions of different mechanical properties. Healthy human subjects and those with diagnosed lower-limb peripheral arterial disease were imaged. Proximal and distal vascular walls are well visualized in ARFI images, with higher mean contrast than corresponding B-mode images. ARFI images reveal information not observed by conventional ultrasound and lend confidence to the feasibility of using ARFI imaging during lower-limb vascular workup.

    View details for DOI 10.1109/TUFFC.2009.1126

    View details for Web of Science ID 000265371600007

    View details for PubMedID 19473912

  • A Heterogeneous Nonlinear Attenuating Full-Wave Model of Ultrasound IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ULTRASONICS FERROELECTRICS AND FREQUENCY CONTROL Pinton, G. F., Dahl, J., Rosenzweig, S., Trahey, G. E. 2009; 56 (3): 474-488

    Abstract

    A full-wave equation that describes nonlinear propagation in a heterogeneous attenuating medium is solved numerically with finite differences in the time domain (FDTD). Three-dimensional solutions of the equation are verified with water tank measurements of a commercial diagnostic ultrasound transducer and are shown to be in excellent agreement in terms of the fundamental and harmonic acoustic fields and the power spectrum at the focus. The linear and nonlinear components of the algorithm are also verified independently. In the linear nonattenuating regime solutions match results from Field II, a well established software package used in transducer modeling, to within 0.3 dB. Nonlinear plane wave propagation is shown to closely match results from the Galerkin method up to 4 times the fundamental frequency. In addition to thermoviscous attenuation we present a numerical solution of the relaxation attenuation laws that allows modeling of arbitrary frequency dependent attenuation, such as that observed in tissue. A perfectly matched layer (PML) is implemented at the boundaries with a numerical implementation that allows the PML to be used with high-order discretizations. A -78 dB reduction in the reflected amplitude is demonstrated. The numerical algorithm is used to simulate a diagnostic ultrasound pulse propagating through a histologically measured representation of human abdominal wall with spatial variation in the speed of sound, attenuation, nonlinearity, and density. An ultrasound image is created in silico using the same physical and algorithmic process used in an ultrasound scanner: a series of pulses are transmitted through heterogeneous scattering tissue and the received echoes are used in a delay-and-sum beam-forming algorithm to generate a images. The resulting harmonic image exhibits characteristic improvement in lesion boundary definition and contrast when compared with the fundamental image. We demonstrate a mechanism of harmonic image quality improvement by showing that the harmonic point spread function is less sensitive to reverberation clutter.

    View details for DOI 10.1109/TUFFC.2009.1066

    View details for Web of Science ID 000263479600008

    View details for PubMedID 19411208

  • Image Quality, Tissue Heating, and Frame Rate Trade-offs in Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse Imaging IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ULTRASONICS FERROELECTRICS AND FREQUENCY CONTROL Bouchard, R. R., Dahl, J. J., Hsu, S. J., Palmeri, M. L., Trahey, G. E. 2009; 56 (1): 63-76

    Abstract

    The real-time application of acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) imaging requires both short acquisition times for a single ARFI image and repeated acquisition of these frames. Due to the high energy of pulses required to generate appreciable radiation force, however, repeated acquisitions could result in substantial transducer face and tissue heating. We describe and evaluate several novel beam sequencing schemes which, along with parallel-receive acquisition, are designed to reduce acquisition time and heating. These techniques reduce the total number of radiation force impulses needed to generate an image and minimize the time between successive impulses. We present qualitative and quantitative analyses of the trade-offs in image quality resulting from the acquisition schemes. Results indicate that these techniques yield a significant improvement in frame rate with only moderate decreases in image quality. Tissue and transducer face heating resulting from these schemes is assessed through finite element method modeling and thermocouple measurements. Results indicate that heating issues can be mitigated by employing ARFI acquisition sequences that utilize the highest track-to-excitation ratio possible.

    View details for DOI 10.1109/TUFFC.2009.1006

    View details for Web of Science ID 000262561600009

    View details for PubMedID 19213633

  • Acoustic radiation force impulse imaging of cardiac tissue IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS) Trahey, G. E., Dahl, J. J., Hsu, S. J., Dumont, D. M., Bouchard, R. R., Allen, J. D., Wolf, P. D. 2009: 163–168
  • Clutter and sources of image degradation in fun- damental and harmonic ultrasound imaging IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS) Pinton, G. F., Dahl, J. J., Trahey, G. E. 2009: 2300–2303
  • Simulation and experimental analysis of ultrasonic clutter in fundamental and harmonic imaging SPIE Medical Imaging Dahl, J. J., Pinton, G. F., Lediju, M., Trahey, G. E. 2009
  • Quantitative Assessment of the Magnitude, Impact and Spatial Extent of Ultrasonic Clutter ULTRASONIC IMAGING Lediju, M. A., Pihl, M. J., Dahl, J. J., Trahey, G. E. 2008; 30 (3): 151-168

    Abstract

    Clutter is anoise artifact in ultrasound images that appears as diffuse echoes overlying signals of interest. It is most easily observed in anechoic or hypoechoic regions, such as in cysts, blood vessels, amniotic fluid, and urine-filled bladders. Clutter often obscures targets of interest and complicates anatomical measurements. An analytical expression that characterizes the extent to which clutter degrades lesion contrast was derived and compared to the measured contrast loss due to clutter in a bladder phantom. Simulation and phantom studies were performed to determine ideal and achievable signal-to-clutter ratios. In vivo clutter magnitudes were quantified in simultaneously-acquired fundamental and harmonic bladder images from five volunteers. Clutter magnitudes ranged from -30 dB to 0 dB, relative to the mean signal of the bladder wall. For this range of clutter magnitudes, the analytical expression predicts a contrast loss of 0-45 dB for lesions with clutter-free contrasts of 6-48 dB. A pixel-wise comparison of simultaneously-acquired fundamental and harmonic bladder images from each volunteer revealed an overall signal reduction in harmonic images, with average reductions ranging from 11-18 dB in the bladder interior and 9-11 dB in the tissue surrounding the bladder. Harmonic imaging did not reduce clutter in all volunteers.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000262274000002

    View details for PubMedID 19149461

  • The next wave Enterprise Imaging & Therapeutic Radiology Management Dahl, J. 2008; 18 (7): 53-54
  • Magnitude, Origins, and Reduction of Abdominal Ultrasonic Clutter 2008 IEEE ULTRASONICS SYMPOSIUM, VOLS 1-4 AND APPENDIX Lediju, M. A., Pihl, M. J., Hsu, S. J., Dahl, J. J., Gallippi, C. M., Trahey, G. E. 2008: 50-53
  • Three-Dimensional Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse (ARFI) Imaging of Human Prostates in vivo 2008 IEEE ULTRASONICS SYMPOSIUM, VOLS 1-4 AND APPENDIX Zhai, L., Dahl, J., Madden, J., Mouraviev, V., Polascik, T., Palmeri, M., Nightingale, K. 2008: 540-543
  • Direction of arrival filters for improved aberration estimation ULTRASONIC IMAGING Dahl, J. J., Feehan, T. J. 2008; 30 (1): 1-20

    Abstract

    Successful adaptive imaging requires accurate measurements of the aberration profile across the array surface. Two-dimensional spatial filters are used to obtain more accurate estimates of aberrating layers by suppressing wavefronts emanating from off-axis scatterers. Application of these filters to the rf signals of the individual elements rejects wavefronts arriving from angles other than the look direction of the array and results in an increase in element-to-element correlation. Spatial filtering reduced the amount of error in the measured aberration profiles and adaptive spatial filtering further improved the estimates. The improvements in aberration estimation obtained with these methods are verified using simulations and experiments in tissue-mimicking phantoms. The technique is applied to signals obtained from in vivo human thyroid.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000256552700001

    View details for PubMedID 18564593

  • An ultrasound research interface for a clinical system (vol 53, pg 1759, 2006) IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ULTRASONICS FERROELECTRICS AND FREQUENCY CONTROL Brunke, S. S., Insana, M. F., Dahl, J. J., Hansen, C., Ashfaq, M., Ermert, H. 2007; 54 (1): 198-210

    Abstract

    Under a contract with the National Cancer Institute, we have developed a research interface to an ultrasound system. This ultrasound research interface (URI) is an optional feature providing several basic capabilities not normally available on a clinical scanner. The URI can store high-quality beamformed radio-frequency data to file for off-line processing. Also, through an integrated user interface, the user is provided additional control over the B-mode receive aperture and color flow ensemble size. A third major capability is the ability to record and playback macro files. In this paper, we describe the URI and illustrate its use on three research examples: elastography, computed tomography, and spatial compounding.

    View details for DOI 10.1109/TUFFC.2007.226

    View details for Web of Science ID 000243042700021

    View details for PubMedID 17225815

  • Radiation force imaging: Challenges and opportunities MEDICAL IMAGING 2007: ULTRASONIC IMAGING AND SIGNAL PROCESSING Trahey, G. E., Palmeri, M., Nightingale, K., Dahl, J. 2007; 6513

    View details for DOI 10.1117/12.719470

    View details for Web of Science ID 000247373000012

  • Transthoracic cardiac acoustic radiation force impulse imaging: A feasibility study 2007 IEEE ULTRASONICS SYMPOSIUM PROCEEDINGS, VOLS 1-6 Bradway, D. P., Hsu, S. J., Fahey, B. J., Dahl, J. J., Nichols, T. C., Trahey, G. E. 2007: 448-451
  • Clutter from multiple scattering and aberration in a nonlinear medium 2007 IEEE ULTRASONICS SYMPOSIUM PROCEEDINGS, VOLS 1-6 Pinton, G., Dahl, J., Trahey, G. 2007: 1736-1739
  • On the potential for guidance of ablation therapy using acoustic radiation force impulse imaging 2007 4TH IEEE INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON BIOMEDICAL IMAGING : MACRO TO NANO, VOLS 1-3 Nightingale, K., Fahey, B., Hsu, S., Frinkley, K., Dahl, J., Palmeri, M., Zhai, L., Pinton, G., Trahey, G. 2007: 1116-1119
  • Clinical applications of acoustic radiation force impulse imaging 19th International Congress on Acoustics Nightingale, K., Palmeri, M., Zhai, L., Frinkley, K., Wang, M., Dahl, J., Pinton, G., Hsu, S., Fahey, B., Dumont, D., Trahey, G. 2007: 5940–5945
  • Magnitude, origins, and reduction of abdominal ultrasonic clutter IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS) Lediju, M., Pihl, M., Hsu, S., Dahl, J., Gallippi, C., Trahey, G. 2007: 50–53
  • Adaptive imaging on a diagnostic ultrasound scanner at quasi real-time rates IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ULTRASONICS FERROELECTRICS AND FREQUENCY CONTROL Dahl, J. J., McAleavey, S. A., Pinton, G. F., Soo, M. S., Trahey, G. E. 2006; 53 (10): 1832-1843

    Abstract

    Constructing an ultrasonic imaging system capable of compensating for phase errors in real-time is a significant challenge in adaptive imaging. We present a versatile adaptive imaging system capable of updating arrival time profiles at frame rates of approximately 2 frames per second (fps) with 1-D arrays and up to 0.81 fps for 1.75-D arrays, depending on the desired near-field phase correction algorithm. A novel feature included in this system is the ability to update the aberration profile at multiple beam locations for 1-D arrays. The features of this real-time adaptive imaging system are illustrated in tissue-mimicking phantoms with physical near-field phase screens and evaluated in clinical breast tissue with a 1.75-D array. The contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) of anechoic cysts was shown to improve dramatically in the tissue-mimicking phantoms. In breast tissue, the width of point-like targets showed significant improvement: a reduction of 26.2% on average. Brightness of these targets, however, marginally decreased by 3.9%. For larger structures such as cysts, little improvement in features and CNR were observed, which is likely a result of the system assuming an infinite isoplanatic patch size for the 1.75-D arrays. The necessary requirements for constructing a real-time adaptive imaging system are also discussed.

    View details for DOI 10.1109/TUFFC.2006.115

    View details for Web of Science ID 000240860200013

    View details for PubMedID 17036791

  • Phase-aberration correction with a 3-D ultrasound scanner: Feasibility study IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ULTRASONICS FERROELECTRICS AND FREQUENCY CONTROL Ivancevich, N. M., Dahl, J. J., Trahey, G. E., Smith, S. W. 2006; 53 (8): 1432-1439

    Abstract

    We tested the feasibility of using adaptive imaging, namely phase-aberration correction, with two-dimensional (2-D) arrays and real-time, 3-D ultrasound. Because of the high spatial frequency content of aberrators, 2-D arrays, which generally have smaller pitch and thus higher spatial sampling frequency, and 3-D imaging show potential to improve the performance of adaptive imaging. Phase-correction algorithms improve image quality by compensating for tissue-induced errors in beamforming. Using the illustrative example of transcranial ultrasound, we have evaluated our ability to perform adaptive imaging with a real-time, 3-D scanner. We have used a polymer casting of a human temporal bone, root-mean-square (RMS) phase variation of 45.0 ns, full-width-half-maximum (FWHM) correlation length of 3.35 mm, and an electronic aberrator, 100 ns RMS, 3.76 mm correlation, with tissue phantoms as illustrative examples of near-field, phase-screen aberrators. Using the multilag, least-squares, cross-correlation method, we have shown the ability of 3-D adaptive imaging to increase anechoic cyst identification, image brightness, contrast-to-speckle ratio (CSR), and, in 3-D color Doppler experiments, the ability to visualize flow. For a physical aberrator skull casting we saw CSR increase by 13% from 1.01 to 1.14, while the number of detectable cysts increased from 4.3 to 7.7.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000239405700006

    View details for PubMedID 16921895

  • Rapid tracking of small displacements with ultrasound IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ULTRASONICS FERROELECTRICS AND FREQUENCY CONTROL Pinton, G. F., Dahl, J. J., Trahey, G. E. 2006; 53 (6): 1103-1117

    Abstract

    Time-delay estimators, such as normalized cross correlation and phase-shift estimation, form the computational basis for elastography, blood flow measurements, and acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) imaging. This paper examines the performance of these algorithms for small displacements (less than half the ultrasound pulse wavelength). The effects of noise, bandwidth, stationary echoes, kernel size, downsampling, interpolation, and quadrature demodulation on the accuracy of the time delay estimates are measured in terms of bias and jitter. Particular attention is given to the accuracy and resolution of the displacement measurements and to the computational efficiency of the algorithms. In most cases, Loupas' two-dimensional (2-D) autocorrelator performs as well as the gold standard, normalized cross correlation. However, Loupas' algorithm's calculation time is significantly faster, and it is particularly suited to operate on the signal data format most commonly used in ultrasound scanners. These results are used to implement a real-time ARFI imaging system using a commercial ultrasound scanner and a computer cluster. Images processed with the algorithms are examined in an ex vivo liver ablation study.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000238493000003

    View details for PubMedID 16846143

  • Phase aberration correction on a 3D ultrasound scanner using RF speckle from moving targets IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS) Ivancevich, N., Dahl, J. J., Trahey, G. E., Smith, S. W. 2006: 120–123
  • Parallel Tracking and Other Methods for Real-Time ARFI Imaging Systems 2006 IEEE ULTRASONICS SYMPOSIUM, VOLS 1-5, PROCEEDINGS Dahl, J. J., Bouchard, R. R., Palmeri, M. L., Agrawal, V., Trahey, G. E. 2006: 1005-1008
  • 3D Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse (ARFI) Imaging using a 2D Matrix Array: Feasibility Study 2006 IEEE ULTRASONICS SYMPOSIUM, VOLS 1-5, PROCEEDINGS Fronheiser, M. P., Dahl, J. J., Pinton, G. F., Chao, Z., Smith, S. W. 2006: 1144-1147
  • Characterization of In Vivo Atherosclerotic Plaques in the Carotid Artery with Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse Imaging 2006 IEEE ULTRASONICS SYMPOSIUM, VOLS 1-5, PROCEEDINGS Dahl, J. J., Dumont, D. M., Miller, E. M., Schwark, E., Allen, J. D., Trahey, G. E. 2006: 706-709
  • Shear Wave Velocity Estimation Using Acoustic Radiation Force Impulsive Excitation in Liver In Vivo 2006 IEEE ULTRASONICS SYMPOSIUM, VOLS 1-5, PROCEEDINGS Nightingale, K. R., Zhai, L., Dahl, J. J., Frinkley, K. D., Palmeri, M. L. 2006: 1156-1160
  • Spatial and temporal aberrator stability for real-time adaptive imaging IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ULTRASONICS FERROELECTRICS AND FREQUENCY CONTROL Dahl, J. J., Soo, M. S., Trahey, G. E. 2005; 52 (9): 1504-1517

    Abstract

    Reported real-time adaptive imaging systems use near-field phase correction techniques, which are desired because of their simple implementation and their compatibility with current system architectures. Aberrator stability is important to adaptive imaging because it defines the spatial and temporal limits for which the near-field phase estimates are valid. Spatial aberrator stability determines the required spatial sampling of the aberrator, and temporal aberrator stability determines the length of time for which the aberration profile can be used. In this study, the spatial and temporal stability of clinically measured aberrations is reported for breast, liver, and thyroid tissue. Cross correlations between aberration estimates revealed aberrators to have azimuthal isoplanatic patch sizes of 0.44, 0.28, and 0.20 mm for breast, liver, and thyroid tissue, respectively, at 80% correlation. Axial isoplanatic patch sizes were 1.26, 0.76, and 1.80 mm for the same tissue, respectively, at 80% correlation. Temporal stability at 80% correlation was determined to be greater than 1.5 seconds for breast and thyroid tissue, and 0.65 seconds for the liver. The effects of noise, motion, and target nonuniformity on aberrator stability are characterized by simulations and experiments in tissue mimicking phantoms.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000232420000010

    View details for PubMedID 16285449

  • Adaptive imaging and spatial compounding in the presence of aberration IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ULTRASONICS FERROELECTRICS AND FREQUENCY CONTROL Dahl, J. J., Guenther, D. A., Trahey, G. E. 2005; 52 (7): 1131-1144

    Abstract

    Spatial compounding reduces speckle and increases image contrast by incoherently averaging images acquired at different viewing angles. Adaptive imaging improves contrast and resolution by compensating for tissue-induced phase errors. Aberrator strength and spatial frequency content markedly impact the desirable operating characteristics and performance of these methods for improving image quality. Adaptive imaging, receive-spatial compounding, and a combination of these two methods are presented in contrast and resolution tasks under various aberration characteristics. All three imaging methods yield increases in the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) of anechoic cysts; however, the improvements vary depending on the properties of the aberrating layer. Phase correction restores image spatial frequencies, and the addition of compounding opposes the restoration of image spatial frequencies. Lesion signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), an image quality metric for predicting lesion detectability, shows that combining spatial compounding with phase correction yields the maximum detectability when the aberrator strength or spatial frequency content is high. Examples of these modes are presented in thyroid tissue.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000231186900008

    View details for PubMedID 16212252

  • Ultrasonic beamforming and image formation Categorical Course in Diagnostic Radiology Physics: Multidimensional Image Processing, Analysis, and Display Dahl, J. 2005: 63-71
  • Real-time acoustic radiation force impulse imaging MEDICAL IMAGING 2005: ULTRASONIC IMAGING AND SIGNAL PROCESSING Pinton, G. F., McAleavey, S. A., Dahl, J. J., Nightingale, K. R., Trahey, G. E. 2005; 5750: 226-235

    View details for DOI 10.1117/12.595846

    View details for Web of Science ID 000229069500025

  • Phase correction of skull aberration with 1.75-D and 2-D Arrays using speckle targets 2005 IEEE ULTRASONICS SYMPOSIUM, VOLS 1-4 Dahl, J. J., Ivancevich, N. A., Keen, C. G., Trahey, G. E., Smith, S. W. 2005: 1323-1326
  • Rapid tracking of small displacements using ultrasound 2005 IEEE ULTRASONICS SYMPOSIUM, VOLS 1-4 Pinton, G. F., Dahl, J. J., Trahey, G. E. 2005: 2062-2065
  • Clinical evaluation of combined spatial compounding and adaptive imaging in breast tissue ULTRASONIC IMAGING Dahl, J. J., Soo, M. S., Trahey, G. E. 2004; 26 (4): 203-216

    Abstract

    When spatial compounding is applied to targets with significant acoustic velocity inhomogeneities, the correlation between speckle patterns of the images to be averaged decreases, thereby increasing the speckle reduction nominally obtained. Phase correction applied to these targets improves the coherence of the wavefield and restores image spatial frequencies. Combining these two modes can be used to effectively increase the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) of imaging targets and improve the general image quality of these targets over spatial compounding alone. This paper presents a clinical evaluation of combined spatial compounding and adaptive imaging in breast tissue and compares this combined technique to conventional imaging and to adaptive imaging and spatial compounding operating independently. Experiments were performed on a 1.75-D, 8 x 96 array attached to a commercially-available scanner. Cysts, microcalcifications and other breast structures were targeted in order to assess the impact of the combined mode on CNR, target width, target brightness and target peak-to-background ratio (PBR). In general, phase correction improved cyst CNR by 7.7%, decreased target width by 18.7%, increased target brightness by 30.1% and increased PBR by 17.9%. Compounding alone, using three overlapping 9.71 mm subapertures, increased cyst CNR by 24.6%, but increased target width by 25.4% and decreased PBR by 13.2%. Combining both modes, however, increased cyst CNR by 32.6%, inappreciably increased target width by 1.1% and marginally decreased PBR by 2.8%. The increase in target brightness with this combined mode was 20.0%

    View details for Web of Science ID 000232346800001

    View details for PubMedID 15864979

  • Real time 3D ultrasound imaging of the brain 2004 IEEE ULTRASONICS SYMPOSIUM, VOLS 1-3 Ivancevich, N. M., Chu, K. K., Dahl, J. D., Light, E. D., Trahey, G. E., Idriss, S. F., Wolf, P. D., Dixon-Tulloch, E., Smith, S. W. 2004: 110-113
  • Spatial and temporal stability of tissue induced aberration 2004 IEEE ULTRASONICS SYMPOSIUM, VOLS 1-3 Dahl, J. J., Soo, M. S., Trahey, G. E. 2004: 222-226
  • Resolution improvement of point targets by real-time phase aberration correction: in vivo results 2004 IEEE ULTRASONICS SYMPOSIUM, VOLS 1-3 McAleavey, S. A., Dahl, J. J., Soo, M. S., Pinton, G. F., Trahey, G. E. 2004: 235-238
  • Synthetic elevation beamforming and image acquisition capabilities using an 8 x 128 1.75D array IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ULTRASONICS FERROELECTRICS AND FREQUENCY CONTROL Fernandez, A. T., Gammelmark, K. L., Dahl, J. J., Keen, C. G., Gauss, R. C., Trahey, G. E. 2003; 50 (1): 40-57

    Abstract

    Ultrasound imaging can be improved with higher order arrays through elevation dynamic focusing in future, higher channel count systems. However, modifications to current system hardware could yield increased imaging depth-of-field with 1.75D arrays (arrays with individually addressable elements, several rows in elevation) through the use of synthetic elevation imaging. We describe synthetic elevation beamforming methods and its implementation with our 8 x 128, 1.75D array (Tetrad Co., Englewood, CO). This array has been successfully interfaced with a Siemens Elegra scanner for summed RF and single channel RF data acquisition. Individual rows of the 8 x 128 array can be controlled, allowing for different aperture configurations on transmit and receive beamforming. Advantages of using this array include finer elevation sampling, a larger array footprint for aberration measurements, and elevation focusing. We discuss system tradeoffs that occur in implementing synthetic receive and synthetic transmit/receive elevation focusing and show significant image quality improvements in simulation and phantom data results.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000180768900004

    View details for PubMedID 12578135

  • Real time adaptive imaging with 1.75D, high frequency arrays 2003 IEEE ULTRASONICS SYMPOSIUM PROCEEDINGS, VOLS 1 AND 2 McAleavey, S. A., Dahl, J. J., Pinton, G. F., Trahey, G. E. 2003: 335-338
  • Off-axis scatterer filters for improved aberration measurements 2003 IEEE ULTRASONICS SYMPOSIUM PROCEEDINGS, VOLS 1 AND 2 Dahl, J. J., Trahey, G. E. 2003: 343-347
  • Performance evaluation of spatial compounding in the presence of aberration and adaptive Imaging Medical Imaging 2003 Conference Dahl, J. J., Guenther, D., Trahey, G. E. SPIE-INT SOC OPTICAL ENGINEERING. 2003: 1–11
  • Performance evaluation of combined spatial compounding/adaptive imaging: Simulation, phantom and clinical trials 2003 IEEE ULTRASONICS SYMPOSIUM PROCEEDINGS, VOLS 1 AND 2 Dahl, J. J., Guenther, D., Trahey, G. E. 2003: 1532-1536
  • Arterial stiffness measurements with acoustic radiation force impulse imaging Medical Imaging 2003 Conference Trahey, G. E., Dahl, J. J., McAleavey, S. A., Gallippi, C. M., Nightingale, K. R. SPIE-INT SOC OPTICAL ENGINEERING. 2003: 235–241
  • Shear Wave Anisotropy Imaging 2003 IEEE ULTRASONICS SYMPOSIUM PROCEEDINGS, VOLS 1 AND 2 Hsu, S. J., Palermi, M. L., Nightingale, K. R., McAleavey, S. A., Dahl, J. D., Trahey, G. E. 2003: 921-924
  • Array elevation requirements in phase aberration correction using an 8x128 1.75D array MEDICAL IMAGE 2002: ULTRASONIC IMAGING AND SIGNAL PROCESSING Fernandez, A. T., Dahl, J. J., Dumont, D. N., Trahey, G. E. 2002; 4687: 79-90
  • Acoustic radiation force impulse imaging: Remote palpation of the mechanical properties of tissue 2002 IEEE ULTRASONICS SYMPOSIUM PROCEEDINGS, VOLS 1 AND 2 Nightingale, K., Soo, M. S., Nightingale, R., Bentley, R., Stutz, D., Palmeri, M., Dahl, J., Trahey, G. 2002: 1821-1830
  • High resolution ultrasound beamforming using synthetic and adaptive imaging techniques 2002 IEEE INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON BIOMEDICAL IMAGING, PROCEEDINGS Fernandez, A. T., Dahl, J. J., Gammelmark, K., Dumont, D. M., Trahey, G. E. 2002: 433-436
  • Aberration measurement and correction with a high resolution 1.75D array 2001 IEEE ULTRASONICS SYMPOSIUM PROCEEDINGS, VOLS 1 AND 2 Fernandez, A. T., Dahl, J. J., Dumont, D. M., Trahey, G. E. 2001: 1489-1494