System-independent ultrasound attenuation coefficient estimation using spectra normalization

Ping Gong, Pengfei Song, Chengwu Huang, Joshua Trzasko, Shigao Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Ultrasound attenuation coefficient estimation (ACE) has diagnostic potential for clinical applications such as differentiating tumors and quantifying fat content in the liver. The two commonly used ACE methods in the ultrasound array imaging system are the spectral shift method and the reference-phantom-based methods. The spectra shift method estimates the central frequency downshift along depth, whereas the reference-phantom-based methods use a well-calibrated phantom to cancel system dependent effects in attenuation estimation. In this study, we propose a novel system-independent ACE technique based on spectra normalization of different frequencies. This technique does not require a reference phantom for normalization. The power of each frequency component is normalized by the power of an adjacent frequency component in the spectrum to cancel system-dependent effects, such as focusing and time gain compensation (TGC). This method is referred to as the reference frequency method (RFM), and its performance has been evaluated in phantoms and in vivo liver studies. The RFM technique can be applied to various transducer geometries (e.g., linear or curved arrays) with different beam patterns (e.g., focused or unfocused).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8660584
Pages (from-to)867-875
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2019


  • Frequency power spectra decay
  • least squares method (LSM)
  • system independent
  • ultrasound attenuation coefficient estimation (ACE)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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