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Ultrasound Med Biol. 2007 Aug;33(8):1277-84. Epub 2007 May 3.

Real-time 3-d intracranial ultrasound with an endoscopic matrix array transducer.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA.


A transducer originally designed for transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) was adapted for real-time volumetric endoscopic imaging of the brain. The transducer consists of a 36 x 36 array with an interelement spacing of 0.18 mm. There are 504 transmitting and 252 receive channels placed in a regular pattern in the array. The operating frequency is 4.5 MHz with a -6 dB bandwidth of 30%. The transducer is fabricated on a 10-layer flexible circuit from Microconnex (Snoqualmie, WA, USA). The purpose of this study is to evaluate the clinical feasibility of real-time 3-D intracranial ultrasound with this device. The Volumetrics Medical Imaging (Durham, NC, USA) 3-D scanner was used to obtain images in a canine model. A transcalvarial acoustic window was created under general anesthesia in the animal laboratory by placing a 10-mm burr hole in the high parietal calvarium of a 50-kg canine subject. The burr-hole was placed in a left parasagittal location to avoid the sagittal sinus, and the transducer was placed against the intact dura mater for ultrasound imaging. Images of the lateral ventricles were produced, including real-time 3-D guidance of a needle puncture of one ventricle. In a second canine subject, contrast-enhanced 3-D Doppler color flow images were made of the cerebral vessels including the complete Circle of Willis. Clinical applications may include real-time 3-D guidance of cerebrospinal fluid extraction from the lateral ventricles and bedside evaluation of critically ill patients where computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging techniques are unavailable.

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