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IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2014 Nov;33(11):2149-66. doi: 10.1109/TMI.2014.2332519. Epub 2014 Jun 26.

Axial ultrasound B-scans of the entire eye with a 20-MHz linear array: correction of crystalline lens phase aberration by applying Fermat's principle.


In ophthalmic ultrasonography the crystalline lens is known to be the main source of phase aberration, causing a significant decrease in resolution and distortion effects on axial B-scans. This paper proposes a computationally efficient method to correct the phase aberration arising from the crystalline lens, including refraction effects using a bending ray tracing approach based on Fermat's principle. This method is used as a basis to perform eye-adapted beamforming (BF), with appropriate focusing delays for a 128-element 20-MHz linear array in both emission and reception. Implementation was achieved on an in-house developed experimental ultrasound scanning device, the ECODERM. The proposed BF was tested in vitro by imaging a wire phantom through an eye phantom consisting of a synthetic gelatin lens anatomically set up in an appropriate liquid (turpentine) to approach the in vivo velocity ratio. Both extremes of accommodation shapes of the human crystalline lens were investigated. The performance of the developed BF was evaluated in relation to that in homogeneous medium and compared to a conventional delay-and-sum (DAS) BF and a second adapted BF which was simplified to ignore the lens refraction. Global expectations provided by our method with the transducer array are reviewed by an analysis quantifying both image quality and spatial fidelity, as well as the detrimental effects of a crystalline lens in conventional reconstruction. Compared to conventional array imaging, the results indicated a two-fold improvement in the lateral resolution, greater sensitivity and a considerable reduction of spatial distortions that were sufficient to envisage reliable biometry directly in B-mode, especially phakometry.

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