Motion-compensation for complementary-coded medical ultrasonic imaging
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Ultrasound is a well-established tool for medical imaging. It is non-invasive and relatively inexpensive, but the severe attenuation caused by propagation through tissue limits its effectiveness for deep imaging. In recent years, the ready availability of fast, inexpensive computer hardware has facilitated the adoption of signal coding and compression techniques to counteract the effects of attenuation. Despite widespread investigation of the topic, published opinions vary as to the relative suitability of discrete-phase-modulated and frequency-modulated (or continuous-phase-modulated) signals for ultrasonic imaging applications. This thesis compares the performance of discrete binary-phase coded pulses to that of frequency-modulated pulses at the higher imaging frequencies at which the effects of attenuation are most severe. The performance of linear and non-linear frequency modulated pulses with optimal side-lobe characteristics is compared to that of complementary binary-phase coded pulses by simulation and experiment. Binary-phase coded pulses are shown to be more robust to the affects of attenuation and non-ideal transducers. The comparatively poor performance of frequency-modulated pulses is explained in terms of the spectral characteristics of the signals and filters required to reduce side-lobes to levels acceptable for imaging purposes. In theory, complementary code sets like bi-phase Golay pairs offer optimum side-lobe performance at the expense of a reduction in frame rate. In practice, misalignment caused by motion in the medium can have a severe impact on imaging performance. A novel motioncompensated imaging algorithm designed to reduce the occurrence of motion artefacts and eliminate the reduction in frame-rate associated with complementary-coding is presented. This is initially applied to conventional sequential-scan B-mode imaging then adapted for use in synthetic aperture B-mode imaging. Simulation results are presented comparing the performance of the motion-compensated sequential-scan and synthetic aperture systems with that of simulated systems using uncoded and frequency-modulated excitation pulses.