A recent study has shown the feasibility of subharmonic (SH) flow imaging at a transmit frequency of 20 MHz. This paper builds on these results by examining the performance of SH flow imaging as a function of transmit pressure. Further, we also investigate the feasibility of SH pulsed-wave Doppler (PWD) imaging. In vitro flow experiments were performed with a 1-mm-diameter wall-less vessel cryogel phantom using the ultrasound contrast agent Definity™ and an imaging frequency of 20 MHz. The phantom results show that there is an identifiable pressure range where accurate flow velocity and power estimates can be made with SH imaging at 10 MHz (SH10), above which velocity estimates are biased by radiation force effects and unstable bubble behavior, and below which velocity and power estimates are degraded by poor SNR. In vivo validation of SH PWD was performed in an arteriole of a rabbit ear, and blood velocity estimates compared well with fundamental (F20) mode PWD. The ability to suppress tissue signals using SH signals may enable the use of higher frame rates and improve sensitivity to microvascular flow or slow velocities near large vessel walls by reducing or eliminating the need for clutter filters. (E-mail: aneedles@visualsonics.com).

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Keywords Clutter filter, Color flow, Definity™, High-frequency ultrasound, Microbubbles, Power Doppler, Pulsed-wave Doppler, Subharmonic
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2007.12.011, hdl.handle.net/1765/29623
Needles, A., Goertz, D.E., Karshafian, R., Cherin, E., Brown, A.S., Burns, P.N., & Foster, F.S.. (2008). High-Frequency Subharmonic Pulsed-Wave Doppler and Color Flow Imaging of Microbubble Contrast Agents. Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology, 34(7), 1139–1151. doi:10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2007.12.011