Ultrasound contrast response to variation of incident pulse length and polarity
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Microbubbles are used as ultrasound contrast agents (UCA) in diagnostic ultrasound as they considerably enhance the backscattered signal and generate specific signal characteristics that can be used to isolate echoes that originate from the blood volume. Emerging new advanced contrast specific insonation techniques have shown to better discriminate the backscattered UCA-signal but has not gained clinical practice due to their complexity and the need for additional soft- and hardware, or due to the debated safety aspects regarding microbubble cavitation at mechanical index (MI >>0.4). In this study we investigate a simplified approach to improve the nonlinear signal contribution from UCA at low MI < 0.4 by utilizing the asymmetry between positive and negative peak pressures for pulse lengths ≤3.5 cycles. In vitro registrations of the transmitted pulse peak pressure asymmetry from a single element transducer were obtained with a needle hydrophone after a transducer excitation pulse with increasing length from 0.5 to 5 cycles. A computational model (Bubblesim) was used to investigate the response from a single microbubble after interaction with transmitted pulse with variations of length, shape and polarity. Our results show that small changes (quarters of a pulse cycle) will change the transmitted pulse shape and distribution of peak pressures and that this effect can be used to change the scattering behavior of UCA in simulations and in vitro. This effect will increase with decreasing pulse lengths <5 cycles. The best case scenario for differentiation of harmonic UCA response with polarity change at MI <0.4 and real time imaging can for transducer frequencies of 2-2.5 MHz be found for pulse lengths of 2.25 and 2.75 cycles in the acoustic pressure interval of 300-500 kPa.
Ultrasound contrast agents, nonlinear imaging, harmonic imaging, contrast echocardiography
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-65417OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-65417DiVA: diva2:395506