Multi-Line Transmission (MLT) was recently demonstrated as a valuable tool to increase the frame rate of ultrasound images. In this approach, the multiple beams that are simultaneously transmitted may determine cross-talk artifacts that are typically reduced, although not eliminated, by the use of Tukey apodization on both transmission and reception apertures, which unfortunately worsens the image lateral resolution. In this paper we investigate the combination, and related performance, of Filtered-Delay Multiply And Sum (F-DMAS) beamforming with MLT for high frame-rate ultrasound imaging. F-DMAS is a non-linear beamformer based on the computation of the receive aperture spatial autocorrelation, which was recently proposed for use in ultrasound B-mode imaging by some of the authors. The main advantages of such beamformer are the improved contrast resolution, obtained by lowering the beam side lobes and narrowing the main lobe, and the increased noise rejection. This study shows that in MLT images, compared to standard Delay And Sum (DAS) beamforming including Tukey apodization, F-DMAS beamforming yields better suppression of cross-talk and improved lateral resolution. The method's effectiveness is demonstrated by simulations and phantom experiments. Preliminary in vivo cardiac images also show that the frame rate can be improved up to 8-fold by combining FDMAS and MLT without affecting the image quality.
Matrone, G., Ramalli, A., Savoia, A.S., Tortoli, P., Magenes, G. (2017). High Frame-Rate, High Resolution Ultrasound Imaging with Multi-Line Transmission and Filtered-Delay Multiply and Sum Beamforming. IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON MEDICAL IMAGING, 36(2), 478-486 [10.1109/TMI.2016.2615069].