Quantitative contrast measurements in B-mode images comparison between experiment and theory
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Quantitative measurements of image contrast were carried out for B-mode images of anechoic spheres (cysts) embedded in a random scattering medium. Four transducer geometries were used: (a) f/5.7 spherical transducer in pulse echo mode, (b) f/2.4 spherical transducer in pulse echo mode, (c) f/2.4, 30 degrees cone (hybrid transducer), (d) f/5.7, 30 degrees cone (hybrid transducer). The image contrast was also calculated via two methods; (i) a three-dimensional computer simulation and (ii) a relatively simple numerical convolution which relates the image of a small point-like scatterer [point spread function (PSF)] to image contrast. Generally, good agreement was found between the experimental measurements and the values calculated via both theoretical methods. The results indicate that image contrast is not determined solely by the full width at half maximum (FWHM) of the PSF. In particular, the results demonstrate the importance of far off-axis contributions of the ultrasound beam to the significant degradation of contrast in images obtained with high resolution (low f-number) axicons.
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