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ULTRASOUND PROBE WITH IMPROVED SENSITIVITY

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000236226D
Publication Date: 2014-Apr-12
Document File: 5 page(s) / 62K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The invention proposes a technique to improve penetration for an ultrasound probe. Averaging is used in the analog domain to improve signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). The technique is applied to micro-beamformers to provide improvement in penetration for an ultrasound probe. The proposed technique is combined with other techniques, such as coded excitation, synthetic aperture and spatial compounding to provide improvements in image quality. The proposed technique uses an analog memory bank. The analog memory bank is composed of individual sampling capacitors to store receive signals. Sampled data values are accumulated from line to line for each respective memory element in an analog fashion.

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ULTRASOUND PROBE WITH IMPROVED SENSITIVITY

BRIEF ABSTRACT

The invention proposes a technique to improve penetration for an ultrasound probe. Averaging is used in the analog domain to improve signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). The technique is applied to micro-beamformers to provide improvement in penetration for an ultrasound probe. The proposed technique is combined with other techniques, such as coded excitation, synthetic aperture and spatial compounding to provide improvements in image quality. The proposed technique uses an analog memory bank. The analog memory bank is composed of individual sampling capacitors to store receive signals. Sampled data values are accumulated from line to line for each respective memory element in an analog fashion.

KEYWORDS

Ultrasound probe, penetration, micro-beamformers, image quality, signal-to-noise ratio, averaging

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

High-performance ultrasound imaging systems are used to produce two-dimensional or three-dimensional ultrasound images of internal features of patients. Ultrasound probes suffer the problem of reduced penetration when imaging at higher frequencies. Since attenuation of receive signals increases exponentially with depth and frequency, image resolution is difficult to improve while imaging deeper into the body. This problem precludes the use of ultrasound in some applications, such as imaging of coronary arteries of the heart or micro-calcifications in the breast. These and other applications are difficult to realize due to lack of sufficient resolution.

A conventional technique relates to enhancement of ultrasound images without lowering frame rate in an ultrasound system. The ultrasound system includes an ultrasound data acquisition unit. The ultrasound data acquisition unit is configured to transmit ultrasound beams to a target object along predetermined plural scan line groups of scan lines in an alternative and sequential manner. The ultrasound data acquisition unit receives ultrasound echoes reflected from the target object. The ultrasound data acquisition unit provides a plurality of ultrasound frame data. A processor is configured to sequentially form ultrasound images based on the ultrasound frame data. The processor compounds the ultrasound images to form compound images.

Another conventional technique relates to reduction of speckle artifacts in ultrasound images by usage of orthogonal pulse sequences. Ultrasound energy is transmitted into a region of interest in a patient body. The transmitted ultrasound energy produces ultrasound echoes from the region of interest. In response to the ultrasound echoes, first and second coherent signals are acquired. The first and second coherent signals are combined and provide a composite image signal. The first and second coherent signals are acquired by first and second matched filters.

            The above mentioned conventional techniques are not efficient enough in improving image quality in the ultrasound system....