Experimental Study of Aperiodic Plane Wave Imaging for Ultrafast 3-D Ultrasound Imaging

Sua Bae, Bae Hyung Kim, Azra Alizad, Mostafa Fatemi, Tai Kyong Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Although plane wave imaging (PWI) with multiple plane waves (PWs) steered at different angles enables ultrafast three-dimensional (3-D) ultrasonic imaging, there is still a challenging tradeoff between image quality and frame rate. To address this challenge, we recently proposed the aperiodic PWI (APWI) with mathematical analysis and simulation study. In this paper, we demonstrate the feasibility of APWI and evaluate the performance with phantom and in vivo experiments. Methods: APWI with a concentric ring angle pattern (APWI-C) and APWI with a sunflower pattern (APWI-S) are evaluated. For experimental verification of the methods, the experimental results are compared with simulation results in terms of the spatial resolution and the mainlobe-to-sidelobe ratio. In addition, the performance of APWI is compared with that of conventional PWI by using a commercial phantom. To examine the potential for clinical use of APWI, a gallstone phantom study and an in vivo carotid artery experiment are also conducted. Results: In the phantom study, the APWI methods provide a contrast ratio approximately 2-3 dB higher than that of PWI. In a gallstone experiment, the proposed methods yield 3-D rendered stone images more similar to the real stones than PWI. In the in vivo carotid artery images, APWI reduces the clutter artifacts inside the artery. Conclusion: Phantom and in vivo studies show that the APWI enhances the contrast without compromising the spatial resolution and frame rate. Significance: This study experimentally demonstrates the feasibility and advantage of APWI for ultrafast 3-D ultrasonic imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2679-2690
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2022


  • 3-D ultrasonic imaging
  • aperiodic plane wave angle pattern
  • coherent plane wave compounding
  • contrast enhancement
  • ultrafast ultrasound imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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