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3D microvascular imaging using high frame rate ultrasound and ASAP without contrast agents: development and initial in vivo evaluation on non-tumour and tumour models

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Title: 3D microvascular imaging using high frame rate ultrasound and ASAP without contrast agents: development and initial in vivo evaluation on non-tumour and tumour models
Authors: Leow, CH
Bush, N
Stanziola, A
Braga, M
Shah, A
Hernández-Gil, J
Long, NJ
Aboagye, E
Bamber, J
Tang, M
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Three-dimensional imaging is valuable to non-invasively assess angiogenesis given the complex 3D architecture of vascular networks. The emergence of high frame rate (HFR) ultrasound, which can produce thousands of images per second, has inspired novel signal processing techniques and their applications in structural and functionalimaging of blood vessels. Although highly sensitive vascular mapping has been demonstrated using ultrafast Doppler, the detectability of microvasculature from the background noise may be hindered by the low signal to noise ratio (SNR) particularly in deeper region and without the use of contrast agents. We have recently demonstrated a coherence based technique, acoustic sub-aperture imaging (ASAP), for super-contrast vascular imaging and illustrated the contrast improvement using HFR contrast-enhanced ultrasound. In this work, we provide a feasibility study for microvascular imaging using ASAP without contrast agents, and extend its capability from 2D to volumetric vascular mapping. Using an ultrasound research system and a pre-clinical probe, we demonstrated the improved visibility of microvascular mapping using ASAP in comparison to ultrafast Power Doppler (PD) on a mouse kidney, liver and tumour without contrast agent injection. The SNR of ASAP images improves in average by 10dB when compared to PD. Besides, directional velocity mappings were also demonstrated by combining ASAP with the phase information extracted from lag-1 autocorrelation. Three-dimensional vascular and velocity mapping of the mouse kidney, liver and tumour were demonstrated by stackingthe ASAP images acquired using 2D ultrasound imaging and a trigger-controlled linear translation stage. The 3D results depicted clear micro-vasculature morphologies and functional information in terms of flow direction and velocity in two non-tumour models and a tumour model. In conclusion, we have demonstrated a new 3D in vivo ultrasound micro-vascular imaging technique with significantly improved SNR over existing ultrafast Doppler.
Issue Date: 1-May-2019
Date of Acceptance: 1-Mar-2019
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/68587
DOI: 10.1109/TUFFC.2019.2906434
ISSN: 0885-3010
Publisher: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Start Page: 939
End Page: 948
Journal / Book Title: IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control
Volume: 66
Issue: 5
Copyright Statement: © 2019 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
Sponsor/Funder: Cancer Research UK
Funder's Grant Number: 22353
Keywords: Science & Technology
Engineering, Electrical & Electronic
microvascular flow
noise reduction
spatio-temporal coherence analysis
volumetric imaging
02 Physical Sciences
09 Engineering
Publication Status: Published
Online Publication Date: 2019-03-21
Appears in Collections:Bioengineering
Department of Surgery and Cancer
Catalysis and Advanced Materials
Faculty of Natural Sciences
Faculty of Engineering