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IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control. 2009 Jan;56(1):63-76. doi: 10.1109/TUFFC.2009.1006.

Image quality, tissue heating, and frame rate trade-offs in acoustic radiation force impulse imaging.

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


The real-time application of acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) imaging requires both short acquisition times for a single ARFI image and repeated acquisition of these frames. Due to the high energy of pulses required to generate appreciable radiation force, however, repeated acquisitions could result in substantial transducer face and tissue heating. We describe and evaluate several novel beam sequencing schemes which, along with parallel-receive acquisition, are designed to reduce acquisition time and heating. These techniques reduce the total number of radiation force impulses needed to generate an image and minimize the time between successive impulses. We present qualitative and quantitative analyses of the trade-offs in image quality resulting from the acquisition schemes. Results indicate that these techniques yield a significant improvement in frame rate with only moderate decreases in image quality. Tissue and transducer face heating resulting from these schemes is assessed through finite element method modeling and thermocouple measurements. Results indicate that heating issues can be mitigated by employing ARFI acquisition sequences that utilize the highest track-to-excitation ratio possible.

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