Strategic Undersampling and Recovery Using Compressed Sensing for Enhancing Ultrasound Image Quality.
Ramkumar A., Thittai AK.
In conventional focused beamforming (CFB), there is a known tradeoff between the active aperture size of the ultrasound transducer array and the resulting image quality. Increasing the size of the active aperture leads to an increase in the image quality of the ultrasound system at the expense of increased system cost. An alternate approach is to get rid of the requirement of having consecutive active receive elements and instead place them in a random order in a larger aperture. This, in turn, creates an undersampled situation where there are only M active elements placed in a larger aperture, which can accommodate N consecutive receive elements (with ). It is possible to formulate and solve the above-mentioned undersampling situation using a compressed sensing (CS) approach. In our previous work, we had proposed Gaussian undersampling strategy for reducing the number of active receive elements. In this work, we introduce a novel framework, namely Gaussian undersampling-based CS framework (GAUCS) with wave atoms as a sparsifying basis for CFB imaging method. The performance of the proposed method is validated using simulation and in vitro phantom data. Without an increase in the active elements, it is found that the proposed GAUCS framework improved the lateral resolution (LR) and image contrast by 27% and 1.5 times, respectively, while using 16 active elements and by 39% and 1.1 times, respectively, while using 32 active elements. Thus, the GAUCS framework can play a significant role in improving the performance, especially, of affordable point-of-care ultrasound systems.