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Comparison between Multi Line Transmission and Diverging Wave Imaging: assessment of image quality and motion estimation accuracy

Abstract : High frame rate imaging is particularly important in echocardiography for a better assessment of the cardiac function. Several studies showed that Diverging Wave Imaging (DWI) and Multi Line Transmit (MLT) are promising methods for achieving a high temporal resolution. The aim of this study was to compare MLT and compounded motion compensated (MoCo) DWI for the same transmitted power, the same frame rates (image quality and Speckle Tracking Echocardiography-STE assessment) and the same packet size (Tissue Doppler Imaging-TDI assessment). Our results on static images showed that MLT outperforms DW in terms of resolution (by 30% in average). However, in terms of contrast, MLT outperforms DW only for the depth of 11 cm (by 40% in average), the result being reversed at a depth of 4 cm (by 27 % in average). In vitro results on a spinning phantom at 9 different velocities showed that similar STE axial errors (up to 2.3% difference in median errors and up to 2.1% difference in the interquartile ranges) are obtained with both ultrafast methods. On the other hand, the median lateral STE estimates were up to 13% more accurate with DW than with MLT. On the opposite, the accuracy of TDI was only up to ~3% better with MLT, but the achievable DW Doppler frame rate was up to 20 times higher. However, our overall results showed that the choice of one method relative to the other is therefore dependent on the application. More precisely, in terms of image quality, DW is more suitable for imaging structures at low depths, while MLT can provide an improved image quality at the focal point that can be placed at higher depths. In terms of motion estimation, DW is more suitable for color Doppler related applications, while MLT could be used to estimate velocities along selected lines of the image.
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Emilia Badescu, Damien Garcia, Philippe Joos, Adeline Bernard, Lionel Augeul, et al.. Comparison between Multi Line Transmission and Diverging Wave Imaging: assessment of image quality and motion estimation accuracy. IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2019, 66 (10), pp.1560-1572. ⟨10.1109/TUFFC.2019.2925581⟩. ⟨hal-02195309⟩

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