An approximate nonlinear model for time gain compensation of amplitude modulated images of ultrasound contrast agent perfusion.
Mari J., Hibbs K., Stride E., Eckersley R., Tang M.
Microbubble ultrasound contrast agents allow blood perfusion to be imaged at the cost of an increased attenuation that is not properly handled by existing time gain compensation methods. An automatic TGC has been developed that is able to account for different microbubble concentrations. The technique is an extension of a previously tested approach for modeling the nonlinear dependence of microbubble backscattering upon insonating pressure. The proposed method involves modeling in amplitude of the nonlinear attenuation for both forward and backward propagation, and the solution is achieved through an approximation set to overestimate the attenuation. The resulting equations are used to model and compensate amplitude modulation (AM) images; they are tested on radiofrequency data acquired using a clinical scanner from a gelatin tissue-mimicking phantom submerged in a contrast agent solution in the 0.08 MI to 0.51 MI range at 2 MHz. The nonlinear estimation equation presented here provides a significantly improved amplification profile compared with standard TGC algorithms, resulting in more accurate attenuation correction of the AM image.