The paper considers the application of statistical properties of backscattered ultrasonic signal for assessment of the trabecular bone status. Computer simulations were conducted to investigate the properties of the ultrasound pulse-echo signal, as it is received on the transducer surface after scattering in trabecular bone. The micro-architecture of trabecular bone was modeled by a random distribution of long and thin cylindrical scatterers of randomly varying diameters and mechanical properties, oriented perpendicular to the ultrasound beam axis. The received echo signal was calculated as a superposition of echoes from all the scatterers present in the scattering volume. The simulated signal envelope was used for statistical processing to compute various parameters like the mean amplitude, the amplitude MSR defined as the ratio of the mean to the standard deviation and the amplitude histogram. Results indicated that while for the well-defined trabeculae properties within the simulated bone structure the signal envelope values are Rayleigh distributed the significant departures from Rayleigh statistics may be expected as the thickness of trabeculae become random. The influence of the variation of mechanical properties of the bone tissue building the trabeculae on the bone backscattered signal parameters was not observed.
The pathological states of biological tissue are often resulted in attenuation changes. Thus, information about attenuating properties of tissue is valuable for the physician and could be useful in ultrasonic diagnosis. We are currently developing a technique for parametric imaging of attenuation and we intend to apply it for in vivo characterization of tissue. The attenuation estimation method based on the echoes mean frequency changes due to tissue attenuation dispersion, is presented. The Doppler IQ technique was adopted to estimate the mean frequency directly from the raw RF data. The Singular Spectrum Analysis technique was used for the extraction of mean frequency trends. These trends were converted into attenuation distribution and finally the parametric images were computed. In order to reduce variation of attenuation estimates the spatial compounding method was applied. Operation and accuracy of attenuation extracting procedure was verified by calculating the attenuation coefficient distribution using the data from the tissue phantom (DFS, Denmark) with uniform echogenicity while attenuation coefficient underwent variation.
A trabecular bone consists of trabeculae whose mechanical properties differ significantly from the surrounding marrow, therefore an ultrasonic wave propagating within the bone structure is strongly scattered. The aim of this paper was to evaluate the contribution of the first, second and higher order scattering (multiple scattering) into the total scattering of ultrasound in a trabecular bone. The scattering due to the interconnections between thick trabeculae, usually neglected in trabecular bone models, has been also studied. The basic element in our model of the trabecular bone was an elastic cylinder with a various finite-length and diameter as well as orientation. The applied model was taking into account variation of both, elements size and their spatial configuration. The field scattered on the bone model was evaluated by solving numerically the integral form of the generalized Sturm-Liouville equation describing a scalar wave in inhomogeneous and lossy media. For the scattered fields calculated numerically the effective cross-sections were determined. The influence of absorption on the scattering coefficients was demonstrated. The results allowed to conclude that within the frequency range from 0.5 to 1.5 MHz contribution of the second order scattering to the effective backscattering cross-section is at least 500 times lower than that due to the first order scattering. It was noticed that for a frequency higher than 1.5 MHz fast growth of the backscattering (reflection) coefficients, calculated for the second order scattering, occurs.
The attenuating properties of biological tissue are of great importance in ultrasonic medical imaging. Investigations performed in vitro and in vivo showed the correlation between pathological changes in the tissue and variation of the attenuation coefficient. In order to estimate the attenuation we have used the downshift of mean frequency (fm) of the interrogating ultrasonic pulse propagating in the medium. To determine the fm along the propagation path we have applied the fm estimator (I/Q algorithm adopted from the Doppler mean frequency estimation technique). The mean-frequency shift trend was calculated using Single Spectrum Analysis. Next, the trends were converted into attenuation coefficient distributions and finally the parametric images were computed. The RF data were collected in simulations and experiments applying the synthetic aperture (SA) transmit-receiving scheme. In measurements the ultrasonic scanner enabling a full control of the transmission and reception was used. The resolution and accuracy of the method was verified using tissue mimicking phantom with uniform echogenicity but varying attenuation coefficient.
The paper presents a classification of the healthy skin and the skin lesions (basal cell carcinoma) basing on a statistics of the envelope of ultrasonic echoes. The echoes envelopes distributions were modeled using Rayleigh and K-distribution. The distributions were compared with empirical data to find which of them better models the statistics of the echo-signal obtained from the human skin. The results indicated that the K-distribution provides a better fit. Also, a characteristic parameter of the K-distribution, the effective number of scatterers (M), was investigated. The values of the M parameter, obtained for the skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma), were lower as compared to those obtained for the healthy skin. The results indicate that the statistical quantitative ultrasound parameters have a potential for extracting information useful for characterization of the skin condition.
Therapeutic and surgical applications of focused ultrasound require monitoring of local temperature rises induced inside tissues. From an economic and practical point of view ultrasonic imaging techniques seem to be the most suitable for the temperature control. This paper presents an implementation of the ultrasonic echoes displacement estimation technique for monitoring of local temperature rise in tissue during its heating by focused ultrasound The results of the estimation were compared to the temperature measured with thermocouple. The obtained results enable to evaluate the temperature fields induced in tissues by pulsed focused ultrasonic beams using non-invasive imaging ultrasound technique
The soft tissue attenuation is an interesting parameter from medical point of view, because the value of attenuation coefficient is often related to the state of the tissue. Thus, the imaging of the attenuation coefficient distribution within the tissue could be a useful tool for ultrasonic medical diagnosis. The method of attenuation estimation based on tracking of the mean frequency changes in a backscattered signal is presented in this paper. The attenuation estimates are characterized by high variance due to stochastic character of the backscattered ultrasonic signal and some special methods must be added to data processing to improve the resulting images. The following paper presents the application of Spatial Compounding (SC), Frequency Compounding (FC) and the combination of both. The resulting parametric images are compared by means of root-mean-square errors. The results show that combined SC and FC techniques significantly improve the quality and accuracy of parametric images of attenuation distribution.