Intravascular ultrasound tissue harmonic imaging: A simulation study
Recently, the in vivo feasibility of tissue harmonic imaging (THI) with a mechanically-rotated intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) catheter was experimentally demonstrated. To isolate the second harmonic signal content, both pulse inversion (PI) and analog filtering were used. In the present paper, we report the development of a simulation tool to investigate nonlinear IVUS beams and the influence of rotation on the efficiency of PI signal processing. Nonlinear 20 MHz beams were simulated in a homogeneous tissue-mimicking medium, resulting in second harmonic pressure fields at 40 MHz. The acoustic response from tissue was simulated by summing radio-frequency (RF) pulse-echo responses from many point-scatterers. When the transducer was rotated with respect to the point-scatterers, the fundamental frequency suppression using PI degraded rapidly with increasing inter-pulse angles. The results of this study will aid in the optimization of harmonic IVUS imaging systems.