Comparative study of periodicity estimation methods using ultrasonic signals
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Res. Biomed. Eng. 2016; 32
10.1590/2446-4740.03815 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/2446-4740.03815
Abstract:Introduction: Various signal-processing techniques have been proposed to extract quantitative information about internal structures of tissues from the original radio frequency (RF) signals instead of an ultrasound image. The quantifiable parameter called the mean scatterer spacing (MSS) can be useful to detect changes in the quasi-periodic microstructure of tissues such as the liver or the spleen, using ultrasonic signals. Methods: We evaluate and compare the performance of three classic methods of spectral estimation to calculate the MSS without operator intervention: Tufts-Kumaresan, SAC (Spectral Autocorrelation) and MUSIC (MUltiple SIgnal Classification). Initially the evaluations were performed with 10,000 signals simulated from a model in which the variables of interest are controlled, and then, real signals from sponge phantoms were used. Results: For the simulated signals, the performance of all three methods decreased with increasing Ad or jitter levels. For the sponges, none of the methods accurately estimated the pore size. Conclusion: For the simulated signals, Tufts-Kumaresan had the lowest performance, whereas SAC and MUSIC had similar results. For sponges, only Tufts-Kumaresan was able to detect the increase in the size of the pores of the sponge, although most often, it estimated sizes larger than expected.
Keywords:Mean spacing, Ultrasonic scatterers, Spectral estimation, Periodic media.
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