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J Acoust Soc Am. 2006 Sep;120(3):1723-31.

A simulation study on tissue harmonic imaging with a single-element intravascular ultrasound catheter.

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Biomedical Engineering, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


Recently, in vivo feasibility of tissue harmonic imaging with a mechanically rotated intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) catheter was experimentally demonstrated. To isolate the second harmonic signal content, a combination of pulse inversion and analog filtering was used. In this paper the development of a simulation tool to investigate nonlinear IVUS beams is reported, and the influence of transducer rotation and axial catheter-to-tissue motion on the efficiency of PI signal processing is evaluated. Nonlinear beams were simulated in homogeneous tissue-mimicking media at a transmit frequency of 20 MHz, which resulted in second harmonic pressure fields at 40 MHz. The competing effects of averaging and decorrelation between neighboring rf lines on the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) were studied for a single point scatterer. An optimal SNR was achieved when lines were combined over 3 degrees - 3.75 degrees. When the transducer was rotated with respect to point scatterers, simulating the acoustic response of tissue, the fundamental frequency suppression using PI degraded rapidly with increasing interpulse angles. The effect of axial catheter-to-tissue motion on the efficiency of pulse inversion seemed to be of less influence for realistic motion values. The results of this study will aid in the optimization of harmonic IVUS imaging systems.

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