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Compressed echography : A novel strategy for image acquisition and reconstruction

  • Bujoreanu, Denis
Publication Date
Nov 26, 2018
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It is beyond doubt that the relative low cost of ultrasound scanners, the quick procedure and the ability to image soft biological tissues helped ultrasound imaging to become one of the most common medical diagnostic tools. Unfortunately, ultrasound still has some drawbacks when compared to other medical imaging techniques mainly in terms of the provided image quality and details. In the quest for an improved image quality, usually, the price to pay is the drop in the frame acquisition rate. This deep rooted trade-off between the provided image quality and the acquisition time is perhaps one of the most challenging in today’s ultrasound research and its overcoming could lead to diagnostic improvements in the already existing ultrasound applications and even pave the way towards novel uses of echography. This study addresses the previously stated trade-off. Through a mix of such concepts as plane wave imaging, multiple-input /multiple-output systems and inverse problems, this work aims at acquiring ultrasound images of the insonified tissue simultaneously, thus providing an increased frame rate while not degrading the image quality. Through this study we came up with a mathematical model that allows modelling the ultrasound wave propagation inside soft tissues. This model was used to review a great number of existing ultrasound acquisition schemes and to expose their advantages and drawbacks. We proposed to overcome the image quality / frame rate trade-off by using temporally encoded ultrasound waves emitted simultaneously, and the generated direct model enabled the use of different inverse problem approaches in order to reconstruct the pulse-echo impulse response of the insonified medium and thus its image. Moreover, we further improved the direct model, which allowed us to directly link the backscattered echoes to the position / magnitude of the scatterers inside the imaged medium. The results yielded by the inverse problem approaches based on the former model put us face to face with state of the art method that not only increase the image quality several times in terms resolution and speckle coherence but also provide a boost in frame acquisition rate.

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