Nonlinear shear waves have a cubic nonlinearity which results in the generation of a unique characteristic odd harmonic signature. This behavior was first observed in a homogeneous gelatin phantom using ultrafast plane wave ultrasound imaging and a correlation-based tracking algorithm to determine particle motion. However, in heterogeneous tissue, like brain, the heterogeneities generate clutter that degrades motion tracking to the point where the shock waves and their characteristic odd harmonics are no longer observable. We present a high frame-rate ultrasound imaging sequence consisting of multiple focused emissions that improves the image quality and reduces clutter to generate high quality motion estimates of shear shock waves propagating in the brain. A point spread function analysis is used to characterize the improvements of the proposed imaging sequence. It is shown that the flash focus sequence reduces the side lobes by 20 dB while retaining the same spatial resolution translating to a sensitivity up to the 11th harmonic. The flash focus sequence are then used to acquire high frame-rate (6500 fps) ultrasound movies of an ex-vivo porcine brain in which a shear wave propagates. Using an adaptive tracking algorithm, we compute the particle velocity in a field of view as deep as the brain. It is therefore demonstrated that the proposed method can detect the nonlinear elastic motion and the odd harmonics with sufficient sensitivity to observe the development of a shear wave into a shock wave as it propagates in the brain.
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May 01 2017
Flash focus ultrasonic images sequences for shear shock wave observation in the brain
J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 141, 3549 (2017)
David Espindola, Gianmarco Pinton; Flash focus ultrasonic images sequences for shear shock wave observation in the brain. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 1 May 2017; 141 (5_Supplement): 3549. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.4987514
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