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Proceedings Paper

Medical imaging by ultrasound computer tomography
Author(s): Rainer Stotzka; Jan Wuerfel; Tim Oliver Mueller; Hartmut Gemmeke
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Paper Abstract

In breast cancer diagnosis, ultrasound examination provides useful additional diagnostic information. Moreover ultrasound does not harm biological tissue and can be applied frequently. But conventional ultrasound imaging methods lack both high spatial and temporal resolution. Usually, the scanner is operated manually and the tissue is deformed while getting as close as possible to the regions of interest. Therefore, image contents and image quality depend strongly on the operator. Exact measurement of tissue structures, like tumor size, is not possible. Instead of a manually controlled linear transducer array, we use ultrasound computer tomography (USCT) to image a volume directly. A few thousand ultrasound transducers are arranged in a cylindrical array around a tank containing the object to be examined coupled by water. Every single transducer is small enough to emit an almost spherical sound wave. While one transducer is transmitting, all others receive simultaneously. Afterwards a different transducer emits the next pulse. For volume reconstruction every transmitted, scattered and reflected signal is used. This new method allows reproducible image sequences with enhanced spatial and temporal resolution. For the benefit of more reconstructed 3D images per second, spatial resolution may be reduced offline. First tests with our prototype in a ring-shaped geometry have even showed nylon threads (0.4 mm) and an image quality superior to clinical ultrasound scanners.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 April 2002
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 4687, Medical Imaging 2002: Ultrasonic Imaging and Signal Processing, (11 April 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.462144
Show Author Affiliations
Rainer Stotzka, Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe (Germany)
Jan Wuerfel, Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe (Germany)
Tim Oliver Mueller, Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe (Germany)
Hartmut Gemmeke, Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4687:
Medical Imaging 2002: Ultrasonic Imaging and Signal Processing
Michael F. Insana; William F. Walker, Editor(s)

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