A study of wide unfocused wavefront for convex-array ultrasound imaging

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Original languageEnglish
Article number107080
Journal / PublicationUltrasonics
Online published10 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


Ultrafast ultrasound imaging modalities have attracted a lot of attention in the ultrasound community. It breaks the compromise between the frame rate and the region of interest by insonifying the whole medium with wide unfocused waves. Coherent compounding can be performed to enhance the image quality at a cost of frame rate. Ultrafast imaging has wide clinical applications, such as vector Doppler imaging and shear elastography. On the other hand, the use of unfocused waves is still marginal with convex-array transducers. For convex array, plane wave imaging is limited by the complicated transmission delay calculation, limited field-of-view, and inefficient coherent compounding. In this article, we study three wide unfocused wavefronts, namely, lateral virtual-source defined diverging wave imaging (latDWI), tilt virtual-source defined diverging wave imaging (tiltDWI), and Archimedean-spiral-based imaging (AMI) for convex-array imaging using the full-aperture transmission. The analytical monochromatic wave solutions to this three imaging are given. The mainlobe width and grating lobe position are given explicitly. Theoretical −6 dB beamwidth and synthetic transmit field response are studied. Simulation studies are carried on with the point targets and hypoechoic cysts. Time-of-flight formulas are given explicitly for beamforming. The conclusions are in good agreement with the theory: latDWI provides the finest lateral resolution but generates the severest axial lobe level for scatterers with large obliquities (i.e., for scatterers located at the image border) which degrades the image contrast. This effect gets worsen as the compound number increases. The tiltDWI and AMI give a very close performance on resolution and image contrast. AMI displays better contrast with a small compound number. © 2023 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Research Area(s)

  • Archimedean spiral-based, Convex array, Diverging wave imaging, Ultrafast ultrasound imaging, Virtual source