Comprehensive Comparison of Image Quality Aspects Between Conventional and Plane-Wave Imaging Methods on a Commercial Scanner.

G. Hendriks, G. Weijers, C. Chen, M. Hertel, C. Lee, P. Dueppenbecker, M. Radicke, A. Milkowski, H. Hansen and C. de Korte




Coherent plane-wave compound imaging (CPWCI) is used as alternative for conventional focused imaging (CFI) to increase frame rates linearly with the ratio number of imaging lines to steering angles. In this study, the image quality was compared between CPWCI and CFI, and the effect of steering angles (range and number) and beamforming strategies was evaluated in CPWCI. In automated breast volume scanners (ABVSs), which suffer from reduced volume rates, CPWCI might be an excellent candidate to replace CFI. Therefore, the image quality of CFI currently in ABVS and CPWCI was also compared in an in vivo breast lesion. Images were obtained by a Siemens Sequoia ultrasound system, and two transducers (14L5 and 10L4) in a CIRS multipurpose phantom (040GSE) and a breast lesion. Phantom results showed that contrast sensitivity and resolution, axial resolution, and generalized contrast-to-noise ratio (gCNR; imaging depths <45 mm) were similar for most imaging sequences. CNR (imaging depths ≥45 mm), penetration, and lateral resolution were significantly improved for CPWCI (15 angles) compared to CFI for both transducers. In CPWCI, certain combinations of steering angles and beamforming methods yielded improved gCNR (small angles and delay-and-sum) or lateral resolution (large angles and Lu's-fk). Image quality seemed similar between CPWCI and CFI (three angles incoherent compounded as in ABVS) by visual inspection of the in vivo breast lesion images.