Poor ultrasonic image quality is a significant problem for overweight and obese individuals. Often, these individuals receive poor quality and indeterminate diagnoses, which delay treatment. In addition, these individual may be referred to other imaging procedures that may increase costs and expose the patient to invasive procedures or ionizing radiation. We have developed a new ultrasonic imaging method, called Short-Lag Spatial Coherence (SLSC) imaging that has the ability to reduce acoustical noise and greatly improve the quality of ultrasonic images. We present preliminary data that demonstrates the success of this technique in human livers. In this application, we propose to build a real-time SLSC imaging system and analyze its characteristics with tissue-mimicking phantoms. In addition, we will build a harmonic version of this imaging technique, called Harmonic Spatial Coherence Imaging (HSCI) that improves clutter suppression and resolution of the imaging system. We also propose to develop the theoretical principles that describe this imaging technique, and will use these theoretical models to aid our development of more sophisticated versions of the proposed technique. We propose clinical studies in high BMI individuals undergoing ultrasound-guided percutaneous biopsies of focal liver lesions to evaluate the potential of this technique in improving the detection and characterization of those lesions.

Public Health Relevance

Poor image quality in ultrasonic imaging is detrimental to guiding needle biopsies in patients with liver cancer. We have developed a new imaging method that reduces image noise and improves a doctor's ability to see liver cancers under ultrasound imaging. We propose to evaluate these techniques in human studies to determine the potential impact of this method.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Research Project (R01)
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Biomedical Imaging Technology Study Section (BMIT)
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Lopez, Hector
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Duke University
Biomedical Engineering
Schools of Engineering
United States
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Hyun, Dongwoon; Crowley, Anna Lisa C; Dahl, Jeremy J (2017) Efficient Strategies for Estimating the Spatial Coherence of Backscatter. IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control 64:500-513
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