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# Ultrasound Imaging: Lecture 2

Absorption
Reflection
Scatter
Speed of sound
Signal modeling
Signal Processing
Statistics
Interactions of ultrasound
with tissue
Image formation
Jan 14, 2009
Steering
Focusing
Apodization
Design rules
Beams and Arrays
Anatomy of an ultrasound beam
Near field or Fresnel zone
Far field or Fraunhofer zone
Near-to-far field transition, L

2
a
L =
L
Anatomy of an ultrasound beam
Lateral Resolution (FWHM)
FWHM
number F
R
a
FWHM = =
2
Anatomy of an ultrasound beam
Depth of Field (DOF)
DOF
2
) ( 7 number F DOF =
Array Geometries
Schematic of a linear phased array
Definition of azimuth, elevation
Scanning angle shown, u, in negative scan
direction.
ya (elevation)
xa (azimuth)
za (depth)
array pitch
Acoustic beam
u
( )
( )
t
t r
t r p
c
c
=
,
,

( )

A =
N
i i
t t r h W t r h
1
) , ( ,
Some Basic Geometry
Delay determination:
simple path length difference
reference point: phase center
apply Law of Cosines
approximate for ASIC
implementation
In some cases, split delay into 2
parts:
beam steering
dynamic focusing
x
z
x
r,u
r
0
rx
c
r r
x

= t
( ) | | r r rx x
c
+ u = t
2 2
cos 2
1
f s
t + t = t
Far field beam steering
For beam steering:
far field calculation
particularly easy
often implemented as a fixed
delay
( )
c
x
s
u
= t
sin
x
z
x
r
0
u
Beamformation: Focusing
Basic focusing type beamformation
Symmetrical delays about phase center.
-40 -30 -20 -10 0 10 20 30 40
-20
-10
0
10
20
point
source
wavefront s
before correct ion
t ransducer
element s
delay
lines
wavefront s
aft er correction
summing
stage
E
Beamformation: Beam steering
Beam steering with linear phased arrays.
Asymmetrical delays, long delay lines
-40 -30 -20 -10 0 10 20 30 40
-20
-10
0
10
20
point
source
wavefront s
before correct ion
array
element s
delay
lines
wavefront s
aft er beam
steering and focusing
summing
stage
E
Anatomy of an ultrasound beam
Electronic Focusing
Grating Lobes
Linear array:
32 element array
3 MHz
pitch l = 0.4 mm
= 0.51 mm
L= N l = 13 mm

How to avoid:
design for horizon-to-
horizon safety
275 . 1
4 .
51 .
) (
) (
= =
=
g
g
Sin
l
Sin
u

u
How many elements?
What Spacing?
g
u
l
g
u

l
Main Lobe
Array design
Linear array:
32 element array
3 MHz
pitch l = 0.4 mm
= 0.51 mm
L
array
= N l = 13 mm

How to avoid:
design for horizon-to-
horizon safety
2

s l
How many elements?
What Spacing?
Apodization
Same array:
32 element array
3 MHz
pitch l = 0.4 mm
= 0.51 mm
L
array
= N l = 13 mm
With & w/o Hanning wting.
Sidelobes way down.
Mainlobe wider
No effect on grating lobes.
Summary of Beam Processing
Beam shape is improved by several
processing steps:
Transmit apodization
Multiple transmit focal locations
Dynamic focusing
Dynamic receive apodization
Post-beamsum processing

Upper frame: fixed transmit focus
Lower frame: the above steps.
I INTERACTIONS OF ULTRASOUND WITH TISSUE

Some essentials of linear propagation

Recall the equation of motion
t
v
x
p
c
c
=
c
c
0

(1)
Assume a plane progressive wave in the +x direction that
satisfies the wave equation

ie
) (
0
kx t
e p p

=
e
(2)
Substituting 2 into 1 we have
t
v
jke p
kx t j
c
c
=

0
) (
0

e
( )
Z
p
c
p
v
e p
f
e
jk
j
p
v
dt e jk
p
v
kx t j
kx t j
kx t j
= =
=
=
=

}
0
0
0
) (
0
0
) (
0
0
2
2

t
t
e

e
e
e
Acoustic impedance
(3)
c Z
0
=
Where
= Characteristic Acoustic Impedance

Define a type of Ohms Law for acoustics

Electrical:
Acoustical:

Extending this analogy to Intensity we have
vZ p
IR V
=
=
2
0
2
0
2
1
2
1
Zv
Z
p
I = =
Propagation at an interface between 2 media
1 1 1
c Z =
2 2 2
c Z =
i
P
r
P
t P
( )
( )
( ) x k t j
t
t
x k t j
r r
x k t j
i i
e
P
p
e P p
e P p
2
1
1

=
=
=
e
e
e
Define Reflection/Transmission Coef
i
t
i
r
p
p
T
p
p
R = = ,
You will show:
2 1
2
1 2
1 2
2
Z Z
Z
T
Z Z
Z Z
R
+
=
+

=
Example: Fat Bone interface
38 . 1 6 . 7
) 6 . 7 ( 2
38 . 1 6 . 7
38 . 1 6 . 7
+
=
+

= T R
70 . 0 =
69 . 1 =
(4)
(5)
THE DECIBEL (dB) SCALE
|
|
.
|

\
|
=
'
ref
s B d
A
A
Log A
10 ) (
20
Where A = measured amplitude
A
ref
= reference amplitude
In the amplitude domain

6 dB is a factor of 2
-6 dB is a factor of .5 (i.e. 6dB down)

20 dB is a factor of 10
-20 dB is a factor of .1 (i.e. 20dB down)
(6)
0
-10
-20
-30
-40
-50
Reflection Coefficients
Air/solid or liquid
Brass/soft tissue or water
Bone/soft tissue or water
Perspex/soft tissue or water
Tendon/fat
Lens/vitreous or aqueous humour
Fat/non-fatty soft tissues
Water/muscle
Fat/water
Muscle/blood
Muscle/liver
Kidney/liver, spleen/blood
Liver/spleen, blood/brain
Water/soft tissues
R = 1.0
R = .1
R = .01
R
e
f
l
e
c
t
i
o
n

C
o
e
f
.

d
B

3) ULTRASOUND IMAGING AND SIGNAL PROCESSING
Thus far we have been concerned with the ultrasound transducer
and beamformer. Lets now start considering the signal
processing aspects of ultrasound imaging.

Begin by considering the sources of information in an
ultrasound image

a) Large interfaces, let a = structure dimension
>> a
- specular reflection
-
- reflection coefficient
1 2
1 2
Z Z
Z Z
R
+

=
where c Z =
- strong angle dependance
- refraction effects
density
speed of sound
b) Small interfaces
<< a
-
- Rayleigh scattering
( )
|
|
.
|

\
|
+

=

k
k k

Cos
a k
D
0
0
0
0
3 2
2
3 3
3
Compressibility Density
and
( ) A r p = ,
( ) D
r
e
ikr
(7)
Morse and Ingard Theoretical Acoustics
p. 427
SCATTER FROM A RIGID SPHERE
( ) ( ) | |
tu
Cos
r
a
c
D
s
3 1
3
4
3 2

=
*
*
SCATTER FROM A RIGID SPHERE (Mie Scatter)
*
ATTENUATION
= absorption component + reflectivity component
( )
x
e p x p
o'
=
0
o
'
The units of are cm
-1
for this equation. However attenuation
is usually expressed in dB/cm. A simple conversion is given
by
( )
1
686 . 8

' = cm
cm
dB
o o
o
'
Attenuation in
Various Tissues
Speed of
Sound in
Various
Tissues
0%
5%
10%
15%
-5%
-10%
Assumed speed
of sound = 1540
m/s
SUMMARY ULTRASONIC PROPERTIES
Table 1
Material Speed of Sound Impedance Attenuation Frequency
ms
-1
Kg m
-2
s
-1
X 10
6

At 1 MHz (dB
cm
-1)

Dependency
water 1490 @ 23C 1.49 0.002 2
muscle 1585 @ 37C 1.70 1.3-3.3 1.2
fat 1420 @ 37C 1.38 0.63 1.5-2
liver 1560 @ 37C 1.65 0.70 1.2
breast 1500 + 80 @ 37C ------ 0.75 1.5
blood 1570 @ 37C 1.70 0.18 1.2
skull bone 4080 @ 37C 7.60 20.00 1.6
air 331 @ STP 0.0004 12.00 2
PZT 4300 @ STP 33.00 ------ --

s m c / 1540 =
2.2 Modeling the signal from a point scatterer

Imagine that we have a transducer radiating into a
medium and we wish to know the received signal due to
a single point scatterer located at position

By modifying the impulse response equation (Lecture 1
Equ. 25 ) we can write:
r

( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) t r h t r h t s t g t g
t
V
k t r V
r t out
, * , * * * , * ,
2
0
(

c
c
=
transmit + receive
electromechanical
IRs
scatterer
IR
transmit
IR
receive
IR
pulse (t)
( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
( ) t r H t pulse
t r h t r h t pulse t r V
r
t
out
, * ) (
, * , * ,
=
=
easily
measured
Now consider a complex distribution of scatterers
Isochronous
volume
r
x

r
i

(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)
At any point in the isochronous volume there exists a transmit
receive path length divided by c for a time, t, such that
c
z
t
c
l l
= =
+
2 1
z
l
1
l
2
If we look at the four field points shown on the previous page
we would see the following impulse responses
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)
The total signal for a given ray position r
x
is given by
( ) ( ) ( ) t r H r W t pulse t r Vout
xi
N
i
i i x ,
1
* ) ( ,
=
=
(9)
scatterer
strength
The resultant signal is the coherent sum of signals resulting
from the group of randomly positioned scatterers that make up
the isochronous volume as a function of time.

A useful model of the signal is:
( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) t t Cos t a t y t Vout u t = = 2
Envelope Modulated
carrier
Phase
Grayscale information
for B-scan Image
How do we calculate a(t) and (t)?

Velocity information
for Doppler
(10)
3.3 Hilbert Transform

The Hilbert transform is an unusual form of filtration in which the
spectral magnitude of a signal is left unchanged but its phase
is altered by for negative frequencies and for
positive frequencies
2
t

2
t
+
Definition
( )
( )
) ( *
1
1
x f
x
x d
x x
x f
x F
H
t
t
=
'

'
'
=
}

(11)
In the frequency domain
( ) { }
( ) s H
F s j x F = ) sgn(
Consider the Hilbert transform of Cos
( ) x t

RE RE
(12)
IM
IM
( ) x Cos t
( ) s jSgn
The application of two successive Hilbert transforms results
in the inversion of the signal we have 2 successive
rotations in the negative frequency range and 2
rotations in the positive frequency range. Thus the total
shift in each direction is .
2
t

2
t
+
t
1
=
II
( ) ( ) x f
x x
x F
x
H
- - = -
t t t
1 1 1
{ } ( ) ( ) ( ) s F s j s j = sgn sgn
( )
( )
{ } ( ) x f F
s F
s
=
=
1
1
The Hilbert transform is interesting but what good is it?

ANALYTIC SIGNAL THEORY

Consider a real function . Associate with this function
another function called the analytic signal defined by:

where = Hilbert Transform

The real part of the analytic signal is the function itself whereas
the imaginary part is the Hilbert transform of the function.

Note that the real and imaginary components of the analytic
signal are often called the in phase, I, and quadrature, Q,
components.

( ) ( ) ( ) t jz t y t f = ( ) t z
(13)
( ) t y
Just as complex phasors simplify many problems in AC
circuit analysis the analytic signal simplifies many signal
processing problems.

The Fourier transform of the analytic signal has an interesting
property.
( ) ( )
( )
| ( )
( )
( )
( )
( )
( )
0 , 2
0 , 0
] [
> =
< =
+ =
=
s Y
s
Y s Sgn Y
Y s Sgn j j Y t jz t y
s
s
s s
s
( ) s
y
( )
0
2
> s
Y
s
+
(14)
Equation 14 gives us an easy way to calculate the analytic
signal of a function:

1) Fourier transform function
2) Truncate negative frequencies to zero
3) Multiply positive frequencies by 2
4) Inverse Fourier Transform

Recall that our resultant ultrasound signal can be expressed
as:
( ) ( ) ( )
t
t Cos t a t y u t + = 2
Its analytic signal is then
( ) ( )
( )
( )
t
t
e t a t f
u t +
=
2
(15)
which on the complex plane looks like:
IM
RE
( ) t y
t

( ) t a
( ) t z
Where

and the phase is given by
( ) ( ) ( ) t z t y t a
2
2
+ =
( )
( )
(

=

t y
t z
Tan
t
) (
1

(16)

(17)
a(t) envelope
Demodulation: estimate using

1) Analytic signal method using FFT (slow)
2) Analytic signal using baseband quadrature approach
3) Sampled quadrature
) ( ), ( t t a
Q I,
Baseband Quadrature Demodulation
X
X
Low
Pass
Low
Pass
t Cos u t 2
( ) t Q
t Sin
'
u t 2
( ) t
y
( ) t
I t = ) Re(
Baseband
Inphase Signal
) ( ) Im( t Q t =
Baseband
Quadrature Signal
( ) ( )
( )
( )
t Cos t Cos a
t Cos t Cos a I
t
t
t t t
u t
u t

u t
u t u t
2
2
2
2 2

|
.
|

\
|
+ =
+ =
'
Use shift and convolution theorems to calculate spectra
( ) t t
note = :
( )
{ } ( ) - = '
u t
u t
u
2
2
t
j
t
e A I
(slowly varying)
-
u
( ) - =
t j
e A

u
u 2 u 2
2
1
( )
{ } ( ) - =
t j
t
e A I

u
2
1
u u u
( )
{ } ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
t
j t j
t
e A e A I

u o u u o u - = - =
2
1
2
1
( )
( )
t t
Cos t a I =
2
1
( )
t
j
t
e t a s

) (
2
1
=
Similarly
( ) t t
Sin t a Q = ) (
2
1 Baseband
Analytic
Signal
No carrier
Phase preserved
( ) ( ) ( )
( )
( )
( ) t t
t
t
t t t
Q I a
a
Cos Sin a Q I
2 2
2
2 2 2 2 2
2
4
1
) (
4
1
+ =
=
+ = +
Thus
) (
) (
) (
) (
) (
t I
t Q
ArcTan
I
Q
Tan
t
t
t
t

and
Sampled Quadrature

Begin with the signal of the ultrasound waveform
( ) ( )
( )
t t t
Cos a y u t + = 2
Sample with period
u
1
= T
*
* *
( )
) (nT I
T
t
III y
t
=
|
.
|

\
|

( )
) (nT Q
T
t
III y
t
=
|
.
|

\
|

## Recall that the quadrature signal is the Hilbert Transform of the

inphase component of the analytic signal i.e. for a cos wave it
is a negative sine wave. Thus we see that . . .
( )
( ) nT I
T
t
III y
t
=
|
.
|

\
|

## If the inphase and quadrature signals are slowly varying

we can get the quadrature signal simply by sampling the
inphase signal 90 or period later

Sampling t = nT for I samples
t = nT+T/4 for Q sample
( ) | |
u
u t
u t
1
4
2 ) ( ) (
) 2 ( ) ( ) (
=
+ + =
+ =
T
nT
T
nT Cos nT a nT Q
nT rT Cos nT a nT I
let
nT Sin nt a nT n Cos nT a nT Q
T n Cos nT a nT n Cos nT a nT I

t
t
t
) ( )
2
2 ( ) ( ) (
) ( ) ( ) 2 ( ) ( ) (
= + + =
= + =
(18)
1
Overall Imager Block Diagram
Doppler
Beamformer
Digital
Receive
Beamformer
Beamformer
Central
Control
Digital
Transmit
Beamformer
Transmit
Demux
Receive
Mux
Transducer
Connectors
System
Control
Image
Proces-
sing
2
3 4 5
6
Imaging System Signals
Doppler
Beamformer
Digital
Receive
Beamformer
Beamformer
Central
Control
Digital
Transmit
Beamformer
Transmit
Demux
Receive
Mux
Transducer
Connectors
System
Control
Image
Proces-
sing
2
3 4 5
6
1
Coarse and Fine Beamforming Delays
H
o
(e)e
-je/4
H
o
(e)e
-je/2
H
o
(e)e
-j3e/4
H
o
(e)
MUX FIFO
Input from
ADC at 20
to 40 MHz,
8 to 12 bits
Output with
delay accuracy
up to 160 MHz
To apodization
and further
processing
Coarse
Delay
Control
Fine
Delay
Control
SIGNAL STATISTICS

Recall that the ultrasound signal is the sum of harmonic
components with random phase and amplitude. It can be shown
that the probability density function for such a situation is
Gaussian with zero mean i.e.
2
2
2
2
1
) (
o
to
y
e y p

=
(19)
The quadrature signal will also be Gaussian with the
same standard deviation
2
2
2
2
1
) (
o
to
z
e z p

=
(20)
Since p(y) and p(z) are independent random variables the joint
probability density function is given by
( )
2
2 2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2 2
2
1
2
1
2
1
) , (
o
o o
to
to to
z y
z
y
e
e e z y p
+

=
=
(21)
The probability of a joint event (corresponding to a particular
amplitude of the envelope) is the probability that:
) (z p
) ( y p
total area =
ada t 2
The probability that
a lies between
a and a + da is
2 2 2
z y a + =
da e
a
da a p
a
2
2
2
2
2
2
) (
o
to
t

=
adad
a
da
d
So that the probability density function for the radio
frequency signal is given by
( )
2
2
2
2
o
o
a
e
a
a p

=
Rayleigh Prob.
Density function
a
a
) (a p
few white pixels
many gray pixels
few
black
pixels
The speckle in an ultrasound image is described by this
probability density function. Lets define the signal as
and the noise as the deviation from this value
a
rms
( ) ( )
2
1
2
2
1
2
a a a N = > =<
Thus
( )
da e
a
da a p a a
a
o
o
2
2
2
2
2
o
o

}
}
=
=
Recall
2
a
Thus:
( )
( )
2
1
2
1
2 2
2
2
2
2
2
2
t
o
t
o
o
t
o
o
t

= =
N
a
SNR
SNR = 1.91 and is invariant
(25)
Note that the SNR in ultrasound imaging is independent of
signal level. This is in contrast to x-ray imaging where the
noise is proportional to the square root of the number of
photons.
Speckle Noise in an Ultrasound Image
a
i
a s
a s
i
=
=
0 0
x
Lets make several independent measurements of
s
o
and s
i

These measurements will form distributions
i
o
0
o
i
s
0
s
The parameter used to define image quality includes both
the observed contrast and the noise due to speckle in the
following fashion:

Define Contrast:

Define Normalized
speckle noise as:

and finally, define our quality factor as the contrast to
speckle noise ratio (CSR)
0
0
s
s s
i

( )
0
2
1
2 2
0
s
i
o o +
2 2
0
0
i
i
s s
CSR
o o +

=
(26)
Suggested Ultrasound Book References:

General Biomedical Ultrasound (and physical/mathematical foundations):
Foundations of Biomedical Ultrasound, RSC Cobbold, Oxford Press 2007.

General Biomedical Ultrasound (bit more applied): Diagnostic Ultrasound Imaging: inside out
TL Szabo Academic Press 2004.

Ultrasound Blood flow detection/imaging: Estimation of blood velocities with ultrasound
JA Jensen Cambridge university press 1996

Basic acoustics: Theoretical Acoustics PM Morse and KU Ingard, Princeton University Press
(many editions).

Bubble behaviour: The Acoustic bubble TG Leighton Academic Press 1997.

Nonlinear Acoustics: Nonlinear Acoustics Hamilton and Blackstock, Academic Press 1998.