Improved contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging with multiplane-wave imaging

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5 Scopus citations


Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) imaging has great potential for use in new ultrasound clinical applications such as myocardial perfusion imaging and abdominal lesion characterization. In CEUS imaging, contrast agents (i.e., microbubbles) are used to improve contrast between blood and tissue because of their high nonlinearity under low ultrasound pressure. However, the quality of CEUS imaging sometimes suffers from a low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in deeper imaging regions when a low mechanical index (MI) is used to avoid microbubble disruption, especially for imaging at off-resonance transmit frequencies. In this paper, we propose a new strategy of combining CEUS sequences with the recently proposed multiplane-wave (MW) compounding method to improve the SNR of CEUS in deeper imaging regions without increasing MI or sacrificing frame rate. The MW-CEUS method emits multiple Hadamard-coded CEUS pulses in each transmission event (i.e., pulse-echo event). The received echo signals first undergo fundamental bandpass filtering (i.e., the filter is centered on the transmit frequency) to eliminate the microbubble's second-harmonic signals because they cannot be encoded by pulse inversion. The filtered signals are then Hadamard decoded and realigned in fast time to recover the signals as they would have been obtained using classic CEUS pulses, followed by designed recombination to cancel the linear tissue responses. The MW-CEUS method significantly improved contrast-to-tissue ratio and SNR of CEUS imaging by transmitting longer coded pulses. The image resolution was also preserved. The microbubble disruption ratio and motion artifacts in MW-CEUS were similar to those of classic CEUS imaging. In addition, the MW-CEUS sequence can be adapted to other transmission coding formats. These properties of MW-CEUS can potentially facilitate CEUS imaging for many clinical applications, especially assessing deep abdominal organs or the heart.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8169035
Pages (from-to)178-187
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


  • Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) imaging
  • Hadamard encoding
  • Multiplane wave (MW) compounding
  • Nonlinear imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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