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DESCRIPTION JP2002119509

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DESCRIPTION JP2002119509
[0001]
FIELD OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a transducer arrangement for an
ultrasound diagnostic imaging system, in particular capable of operating selectively for either
two-dimensional imaging or three-dimensional imaging. It relates to a two-dimensional array.
[0002]
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Both one-dimensional (1D) and two-dimensional (2D)
transducer arrays are used today for ultrasound imaging. The 1D array consists of flat rows of
transducer elements. The 1D array is configured as a straight line of transducer elements or as a
curved row of azimuthal components, which are in-plane directions orthogonal to the beam
direction extending into the plane of the image in the range direction. A single row of
components selectively pulse individual components at predetermined times to deliver a beam of
ultrasonic energy that can be oriented and focused at an azimuthal angle Controlled by The array
can receive echoes along the same beam direction. The single row of components is restricted to
transmit and receive in the plane area in front of the emitting face of the array. The 1D array has
a fixed focus in the height dimension orthogonal to the image plane, which is provided by the
acoustic lens, the polariser of the transducer, or both. The focus of this fixed height determines
the thickness of the slice represented by the two-dimensional image.
[0003]
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A 2D array is an array of transducer elements that extend in two dimensions, often referred to as
azimuth (azimuth) and elevation, where the elevation intersects the azimuth. The 2D array is
identical to the 1D array by pulsing the individual components when selected to deliver a beam
that can be oriented and focused in both the azimuth and height directions. Controlled in a way.
The 2D array is either annular (consisting of ring-shaped components) or surrounded by straight
lines (consisting of rows and columns or other patterns of individual components) . An annular
arrangement consisting of successive rings can be focused on both azimuth and height, but can
be directed straight ahead only. A rectangular 2D array can be focused and oriented in both
dimensions and hence can be used to direct the beam through the area of three dimensional
volumetric measurement for three dimensional imaging.
[0004]
Other more restricted 2D sequence variations are known and termed 1.5D and 1.75D. A 1.5D
array generally has fewer components in the height direction than in the azimuthal direction, and
a set of components arranged symmetrically on either side of the center row of components
Have. This allows the 1.5D array to be dynamically focused in the height direction, but the
symmetrical behavior of the components on either side of the center row has a height orientation
Prohibit decisions. The 1.75D array can be electronically oriented in both azimuth and elevation,
but with only a minimal range compared to the 2D array. Both 1.5D and 1.75D arrays are used to
control slice thickness through dynamic height focusing, as compared to 1D arrays.
[0005]
Generally, a 1D transducer array is optimized for use in a two-dimensional scan, while a 2D
transducer array is optimized for use in a three-dimensional scan. Ru. Two-dimensional slices of
three-dimensional images are displayed with lower quality than two-dimensional images obtained
from a 1D array. When the user wants to switch between 2D and 3D images, the user usually has
to change the probe of the transducer. It is desirable to have a single transducer probe that can
be used for both 2D and 3D imaging and that performs the image quality of the 1D probe when
used for 2D imaging.
[0006]
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SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the principles of the present invention, there
is provided a 2D transducer array usable for three dimensional imaging and switchable to
operate as a one dimensional array for two dimensional imaging Ru. The connections between
the elements of the 2D array are switched, preferably in the probe, so that the echo signals are
combined before being processed by the system beamformer. In the described embodiment, the
2D array operates with fully occupied 1D apertures for 2D imaging or with sparsely populated
2D openings for 3D imaging It is possible. The transducer probe of the present invention is
advantageously used to periodically acquire two-dimensional image frames using a 1D aperture,
while acquiring 3D volume data with a sparse 2D aperture that is completely closed. can do.
[0007]
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring to FIG. 1, a 2D array transducer
constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention is shown in plan view.
Each rectangle in this figure represents one transducer element in a two-dimensional array of
components, including a total of 361 components of 19 rows of components and 19 columns. If
this arrangement operates as a conventional 2D arrangement, it requires 361 signal leads
connected to each transducer element. The 19x19 arrangement is shown for ease of explanation,
and the actually constructed embodiment has a size of 60x60 components or more. An
embodiment so configured requires a 3600 signal lead. When each signal lead is coaxial, the
cables that make up the embodiment are as large as diameter and cost inconvenient.
[0008]
In FIG. 1, every other component is painted black. These are the components used in this
example when the 2D array operates as a sparse 2D array, the "sparse" array is inactive within
the array opening between activated transducer elements There is a space. In operation, this
sparse 2D array 10 operates individually to transmit and receive a focused ultrasound beam
directed into a three-dimensional area in front of the 2D array aperture. In this example, the nonblackened array component 14 is not used when the blackened component 12 operates as a
sparse 2D array. Sparse arrays have undesirable implications for some imaging parameters such
as sensitivity and grating lobes, but sparse array operations have resolution, beamformer channel
requirements, cost, frame rate and actual cable size Is a favorable trade-off for other properties
such as The sparse 2D array shown has 100 activated components 12 and requires only 100
signal conductors in the cable, substantially from 361 conductors required for all occupied
openings It will decrease. The unused components 14 are left electrically open, connected
together, grounded, or to control the electrical boundary conditions of components not used in
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the sparse 2D array. It is connected to ground potential by impedance.
[0009]
In embodiments of the present invention, transducer elements not used (not activated) within the
sparse 2D array aperture are connected for use as activated components when the 2D array
operates as a 1D array. These components are shown in FIG. 1a for the 2D arrangement of FIG.
These components, such as each column 16, 17, 18, 19 etc. are electrically connected together in
the acoustic stack, in the back block / interconnect structure or at other points in the electrical
interconnect path. Ru. In the illustrated example of FIG. 1a, 261 components not used in the
sparse array configuration are connected to form a 1D array, 19 components, one component
per column, with 19 components. Only 19 electrical connections to the signal leads, one for each
1D component, are required to access the 1D array. No additional manufacturing steps are
required. An additional complexity of array fabrication is to provide a means for connecting
components together in a column. Several ways to do this are shown below.
[0010]
The resulting 1D array has holes at positions corresponding to components in the sparse 2D
array, and every other 1D component of the array (eg, 16 and 18) is a complete column (eg, 17
and 19) With one half of the activated area of the 1D component constituted by This uniformity
and sparseness of the 1D array can be removed by adding components with a sparse 2D array to
alternating columns 16, 18 etc. of each other.
[0011]
The cables required to support such an arrangement have three configurations. First, one
additional coaxial cable per column is added to the cable, having a beamformer in the ultrasound
system, and summing the signals from all the components in each column. In this example, the
cable has 119 coaxial cables, 100 for the sparse 2D array of activated components (Figure 1) and
19 for 19 1D array components (Figure 1a). .
[0012]
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The second alternative, which also has 119 coaxial cables, uses a high voltage multiplexer
multiplexer with 200 switches to include sparse 2D array components in their 1D columns,
thereby making the 1D components All have the same activation area. Each component in the
sparse 2D array requires one to connect the components to the 2D array coaxial cable and one
requires two switches to connect to the 1D coaxial cable. Such a switching arrangement may be
used as a single 1D array component not used for sparse 2D array configurations but with
column 26 containing alternating components 12 of sparse 2D array openings for two array
columns. A column 27 (e.g. columns 17 and 19 in FIG. 1a), which is the entire column of
components used, is shown in FIG. For sparse 2D array operation, the switches 2D0-2D9 connect
the blackened transducer elements 12 of the first column 26 to the coaxial cables C0-C9. The
components 14 of the second column 27 are not used in a sparse 2D array configuration, they
are all connected together and go to the coaxial cable C11 for use during 1D array operation.
Those (not painted black) components in the first column 26 not used in the sparse 2D
arrangement are connected together and directly to the cable C10. In addition, the sparse 2D
array components in the first column are connected to the cable C10 through the switches 1D01D9. The switch pairs 1D0 / 2D0 to 1D9 / 2D9 operate as single pole double slow switches.
When the 2D array operates as a sparse 2D array, switches 2D0-2D9 are closed, switches 1D01D9 are left open, and coaxial cables C0-C9 and similar coaxial cables in the other columns are
painted black It is used to access the array element 12 The coaxial cables C10, C11 and similar
conductors are grounded, left floating or connected to the desired impedance. For 1D operation,
switches 2D0-2D9 are open, switches 1D0-1D9 are closed, and coaxial cables C10, C11 and
similar conductors of the cable are each as a single component of the 1D array Used to access
the elements of an array column.
[0013]
The connection of the coaxial cable C10 to the unpainted components in the column 26 and the
connection to the unpainted components in the column 27 of the coaxial cable C11 are the
partially sparse 1D arrangement of FIG. 1a. Note the connections required to form the
configuration.
[0014]
A third embodiment switches the 1D array onto the coaxial cable used by the sparse 2D array, so
that no additional coaxial cable is required to support the 1D array configuration.
Such an arrangement is shown in FIG. 3 and 219 switches are required to control the
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arrangement. In addition to requiring two switches per 2D array element, the multiplexer
requires one additional switch per column. The 2D array uses 100 coaxial cables when acquiring
3D images in a sparse 2D array configuration, and those 19 coaxial cables when acquiring 2D
images in the previous paragraph 1D configuration.
[0015]
In the sparse 2D array mode, switches 2D0-2D8 close to connect the sparse 2D array element 12
to the coaxial cable C0-C9 (one component is directly connected to the coaxial cable C8). In the
1D mode, the switches 2D0-2D8 are open and the switches 1D0-1D9 close, connecting all the
components of the first column 26 to the coaxial cable C8. The switch 1D10 is also closed,
connecting all the components of the second column 27 to the coaxial cable C9.
[0016]
FIGS. 4-7 show other embodiments of the invention in which different sets of components are
used for 3D imaging, with a small, full 2D aperture for transmission and a large, sparse 2D
aperture for reception. Indicates FIG. 4 shows a generally circular subset of the 19 × 19 2D
array 100 drawn with four types of shading as shown on the right side of the figure. The slightly
shaded element 102 is used for transmission of the 2D alignment mode of operation for 3D
imaging. The medium shaded element 104 is used for reception in 2D array (3D imaging) mode.
Black shaded elements 106 are used for both transmission and reception in 2D array (3D
imaging) mode. The unshaded elements 108 are not used in 2D array (3D imaging) mode. All
components are used within the 1D array of operations (2D imaging mode). As a result,
components 104 and 106 of FIG. 4 that make up the sparse 2D array configuration 110 of FIG. 5
are as sparse 2D arrays when the array receives echo signals during three-dimensional imaging.
Used for The components 112 used to transmit beams for the sparse 2D mode are shown in FIG.
6, which correspond to components 102 and 106 of FIG. As shown, the beam is transmitted in
three dimensions by the small, full 2D transmit aperture of FIG. 6 and produces an echo that is
received by the sparse 2D receive aperture of FIG.
[0017]
In the 1D mode of 2D imaging, the components of the columns are connected together as shown
in FIG. 7 to form a full 1D aperture 114.
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[0018]
The 2D array used in FIGS. 4-7 may be a rectangular array as shown in the previous figure, or be
configured in a shape with four or more sides, such as the octagon of FIG. it can.
The polygon shape of these many sides is occupied by a large proportion of the rotational
aperture, such as a multi-faceted TEE probe or a probe through a rotating thoracic cavity as
shown in US Patent No. 5,779,639. Allows the use of sequence converters in a rotating
environment. The components in the 1D alignment mode shown in FIG. 7 are not of equal length
and therefore do not exhibit equal sensitivity, and the alignment is usually either transmit or
receive when used in 1D mode Or both operate with apodization.
[0019]
In the embodiment of FIGS. 4-7, a multiplexer is used to switch between 2D transmission, 2D
reception and 1D mode operation. A multiplexer substantially as described in the previous
embodiments can be used. The components 108 not used in 2D mode (3D mode) are grouped
into columns, and each column is connected to the cable through the single pole single throw
switch described above. All the components 102, 104, 106 used in 2D sparse array openings,
one for connecting to a cable for 2D array operation (transmit, receive or both) and one 1D
operation Have two switches for connecting to the column of. The difference between this
embodiment and the previous example is that the switch can not operate as a single pole double
throw switch. This is because during 2D array transmit operations, those 2D receive components
that are not transmit apertures are not closed with any switches, and during 2D array receive
operations, those 2D transmit components that are not receive apertures are any switch Also,
there is a situation that none of the switches can be closed.
[0020]
In all cases described above, it is desirable to control electrical boundary conditions for 1D only
components in 2D mode. This requires one switch per column.
[0021]
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Referring to FIGS. 8a and 8b, a transducer probe 120 constructed in accordance with the
principles of the present invention is shown. The 2D transducer array 10 has dome shaped
lenses 20 across the transmit / receive side of the array to provide a larger acoustic delay at the
center of the array than at the periphery of the array. This provides some delay that is deemed to
be required at the center of the array, and reduces the longest delay requirement of the
beamformer. It also provides an advantageous form factor for contact with the patient. At the
back of the array is an acoustic support block 30, which buffers acoustic radiation from the back
of the array. The front of the array facing the acoustic lens 20 is covered by metal foil to provide
a common electrical return to the components, and the signal leads are connected to the back of
the array element. Instead, the transducer elements operate in the k31 mode, in which case all
electrical connections are made from the back of the array. The flex circuit connection extends
through the support block 30 as described in U.S. Patent No. 6,043,590, and provides electrical
connection between the components of the array 10 and the components on the plurality of
printed circuit boards 82. provide. These components have multiplexer (MUX) switches 84 that
are controlled to selectively connect the components of the 2D array to the cable assembly as
described herein. A suitable MUX switch package is the HV202 SPSTFET switch package
available from Supertex, which has both a FET switch and the control logic of that switch. The
control logic of the MUX and the FET switches are connected to a cable connection point 86,
which also has a connector, by means of an intersection on the printed circuit board. These
connection points are preferably housed within the lead frame of the coaxial cable, as described
in US Pat. No. 5,482,047.
[0022]
The transducer stack and board subassembly shown in FIG. 8a having one or more double-sided
printed circuit boards with MUX switch packages are enclosed in a plastic case 80, half of which
is shown in FIG. 8b. On the back of the case 80 there is a recess that encases the relaxation of the
strain on the cable. A soft rubber or hard plastic protective lens is formed on the sound 20 to
provide an enclosure in which the protective lens and the case 80 are integrally sealed to the
assembly shown in FIG. 8a. The embodiment of these figures accommodates a rectangular array
transducer as shown in FIG. Another embodiment uses an array of four or more sides as shown
in FIG. 4, which is further applicable to certain cardiac applications that require the probe to
access the heart from between the bones. Suitable. Such embodiments are further rounded and
have a form factor different from that shown in FIGS. 8a and 8b.
[0023]
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FIG. 9 shows a block diagram of an ultrasound system having a transducer probe of the present
invention. The transducer probe has a 2D array in the case 80 as described above. The
transducer probe is connected to the ultrasound system beamformer 202 by a cable 90 and a
probe connector 92. The beamformer 202 controls when signals are provided to the components
of the 2D array used for transmission, and for the transmission of directed and focused beams
and over linear or volumetric regions The signals received from the components are delayed and
combined to dynamically focus and direct the received echo signals. The operation of the
beamformer controls the timing, steering, frequency and focus of the transmitted and received
beams in the usual way with the data connected to the beamformer 202 via the data bus 205 It
is controlled by the beamformer controller 204. In addition, beamformer controller 204 provides
data via MUX control line 207 which controls the configuration of switches connecting selected
components of the 2D array to each other and via cable 90. . As shown in FIGS. 4-7, a 2D array
can have three types of apertures: 2D transmit and 2D receive for 3D imaging and 1D transmit /
receive for 2D imaging. Thus, the cable has signal leads for the 2D array 10 switches and MUX
control signals. A beamformer controller 204, having a control panel or soft keys on the display
screen, controls the beamformer in response to input from the user via the user interface 200.
For example, the user instructs the system to acquire 3D harmonic images using sparse 2D array
switch settings, and also 2D Doppler flow in a 3D volume using 1D switch settings. It instructs to
acquire an image. The beamformer controller controls the alignment switches and the
beamformer to be time interleaved and alternate between these modes. The beamformed signals
are B-mode or Doppler processed by signal processor 206 and formed into an image of desired
format and orientation by image processor 208 for display on image display 210.
[0024]
MUX switches, which control the imaging mode of the 2D array, are located at several locations.
Included in the hand-held probe shown in FIGS. 8a and 8b or in the probe connector 92 or in the
beamformer 202. The beamformer typically has space for the switch printed circuit board, and
also takes away substrate cooling considerations from the scan head design. Placing the MUX
switch in the probe connector 92 allows the probe to be smaller and lighter without spending the
large cables needed to connect all the components of the 2D array to the connector. The MUX
switch in the probe itself reduces the cable size and removes cable impedance effects from the
transducer element's unbound signal.
[0025]
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10a-10c show a further embodiment of the invention in which a 2D array can be configured to
image a plurality of two-dimensional image planes. FIG. 10a shows a 2D array 300 in which the
blackened components 302 have transducer elements that are operated separately as a sparse
2D array for 3D imaging. For two-dimensional imaging, the columns of components are MUX
switches represented by vertical lines in the figure to form a 1D array with height and azimuth
dimensions shown adjacent to the figure. Connected together. The 1D array uses both
components 302 used for 2D arrays and non-shaded components 304 not used for sparse 2D
arrays. When desired, the entire 1D array is formed, but the figure shows sparse 1D as shown
below, which provides the simplicity of interconnecting the switch matrix shown in FIG. 10b and
the symmetry of the sparse 1D array aperture. The array opening is shown. The 1D array shown
in this figure is formed by interconnecting transducer elements 306 in rows shown by horizontal
lines in the figure. Components 306 are disposed between components 302 and 304 in a full 2D
array. Thus, two 1D arrays can be formed as shown in FIGS. 10a and 10b, with azimuth and
height directions of orthogonal orientation. As the figure shows, both are sparse arrays of 1D
with the same spacing between components, and the rows or columns form 1D array elements.
[0026]
FIG. 10c shows whether the 2D array components of FIGS. 10a and 10b are interconnected for
1D and 2D array operation. The components shown in circle 310 are used as sparse 2D array
components for 3D imaging and are separately controlled, each during its own 3D imaging of the
probe cable. Connected to the coaxial signal conductor. The components shown as blocks 312
and 314 are grounded, connected to ground by impedance, or left floating during threedimensional imaging. For two-dimensional imaging as a 1D array oriented as shown in FIG. 10a,
the columns of components 312 are connected together as shown by line 316, and each column
is a probe cable , And each column forms a 1D array element. Additionally, the components 310
in each column are connected together for low-imaging 1D array elements. These two sets of
columns provide a 1D array that is fully sampled in the azimuthal direction, but at 50%
sparseness in the height direction. For two-dimensional imaging as a 1D array oriented as shown
in FIG. 10b, the rows of components 314 are connected together as shown by line 318 and each
row is of the probe cable Connected to separate signal conductors, each row forms a 1D array
element.
[0027]
The transducer array of the present invention can be rapidly converted between 2D and 3D
image acquisition, and can provide a 1D aperture for full more sensitive 2D imaging so that
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spectral Doppler can be achieved without changing the transducer probe. Imaging can be
performed. FIG. 11 illustrates an imaging mode that the probe can use to simultaneously provide
a two dimensional image, a three dimensional image spectral Doppler display, with time
interleaved acquisition sequences. The left side of the display screen is a three-dimensional image
400 acquired by the 2D array when operating as a sparse 2D array. Three-dimensional imaging
is an excellent inspection tool that allows clinicians to view tissue volume and vasculature in the
body. Because the volume measurement area is imaged, there is no anatomical problem to be
examined moving in and out of the image plane, and the anatomical structure can be held at the
center of the volume measurement area 400. In this case, the coronary artery 404 is imaged
within the volumetric region. In addition, the orientation / position of the two-dimensional image
plane, as described in US Pat. No. 5,353,354, allows lines to be drawn within the threedimensional volume even when two-dimensional imaging is not used. You can pull it.
[0028]
Periodically, scanning of the area of volumetric measurement in the 2D alignment mode is
interrupted to acquire one or more scan lines of the planar image 402 in the 1D alignment mode.
The probe is moved until the desired anatomical structure, in this example an artery 406, is
placed in the plane of the image 402. The remaining arterial branches 404 remain in the
volumetric region on either side of the image plane 402. Tissue in the volumetric region in front
of the image plane, ie between the viewer and the plane, is described in US Pat. No. 5,720,291 in
order to improve the ability to view vascular structures in the image plane 402. As is possible, it
can be made totally or partially transparent. In this example, the image plane also has a sample
volume cursor 410 that can be moved in the plane by the clinician to pinpoint the location of the
artery 406 where spectral Doppler measurements are made.
[0029]
In the display mode shown, the two-dimensional image plane 402 is displayed separately on the
display screen as shown on the right of the figure to clearly show the location of the artery 406
and sample volume 410 of interest. When two-dimensional images are displayed separately, it is
only desirable to specify the position of the two-dimensional image plane within the threedimensional image 400 by outline, as shown in US Pat. No. 5,353,354. The two-dimensional
image 402 is preferably a color flow image in which the blood flow in the artery 406 is shown in
color. For this display mode, scanning of the volumetric area 400 is periodically interrupted to
obtain B-mode lines of the two-dimensional image 402 and Doppler ensembles for color flow
processing. The B-mode and Doppler scans of planar image 402, which are performed by a 2D
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array when switched to operate as a 1D array, are preferably performed at a frame rate higher
than that of the three dimensional display. Thus, within the time required for a single scan in the
volumetric region, one or more planar color flow images are acquired and displayed as shown on
the upper right of the figure.
[0030]
The high sensitivity of the 1D array allows for spectral Doppler display generated by either
pulsed or continuous waveform means, as shown at 408 in the figure. In this example, the
sample volume 401 is scanned even at a higher repetition rate than the 2D image plane by
operating the 2D array as a 1D array. Spectral Doppler sample volume transmit pulses are time
interleaved between two-dimensional imaging transmit pulses and then interleaved between
three-dimensional imaging pulses when operating in pulsed waveform Doppler mode. Echo
information obtained from the sample volume is Doppler processed and displayed as a spectral
display with blood flow velocity in the sample volume shown as a function of time as shown at
408. Thus, the probe of the present invention can be used as a volumetric inspection tool, more
sensitive two-dimensional imaging probe, for measurements quantified either sequentially or
simultaneously without changing the probe. And, it can be used as a spectral Doppler probe.
[0031]
Many variations are also possible that take advantage of the capabilities of the probes of the
present invention. For example, the display 408 of FIG. 11 can be an M-mode scroll display
rather than a spectral Doppler line. In such case, the sample volume 410 is replaced by the user
adjustable M-line to indicate the line along which the M-mode indication is generated. Such a
display may show, for example, an M-mode display of the heart in three dimensions, the plane of
the heart in two dimensions, and the pulsating motion of the heart wall along the M-line. M-mode
uses B-mode indication or Doppler information to generate Doppler or color flow Doppler Mmode indication of tissue. The M-line of the M-mode display is generated at a rate higher than
the two-dimensional display rate and the three-dimensional frame rate of the display. The high
frame rates, resolutions and sensitivities of two-dimensional images, and other types of
quantified measurements besides Doppler measurement, make the imaging especially superior to
myocardial perfusion imaging. The large sensitivity of the 1D array structure also allows twodimensional surface imaging with the 1D array configuration operating in harmonic mode while
the 2D array configuration is operated in the fundamental mode. When performing a threedimensional scan, sparse 2D arrays do not show sufficient sensitivity to tissue harmonic imaging,
but this limitation is a completely closed 1D array for two-dimensional imaging. Can be
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overcome, and a great sensitivity to tissue harmonic images is obtained.
[0032]
FIG. 12 shows a 2D array 300 'when operated to provide two planar images in a volumetric
region as described above with reference to FIGS. 10a-10c. In this case, the array operates as a
2D array scanning volumetric region 500. When switched to form an orthogonally oriented array
1 D, the array can scan either the two-dimensional plane 502 or the two-dimensional plane 504.
The desired mode for imaging in this mode is three-dimensional image 400 and planar image
402 and three adjacent regions 500 of volumetric measurement with adjacent planar image 502
as shown in FIG. It will be to display a two-dimensional image. As the probe moves relative to the
body, the anatomical structure moves into or out of the volumetric region 500 and quickly moves
into or out of the two image planes 502 and 504. The clinician scans the body in three
dimensions and in real time in two dimensions. As mentioned above, the array can operate in a
basic mode when operating as a 2D array, and when operating as a 1D array to take advantage of
the greater sensitivity of the 1D array, the tissue of the two image planes Can operate in
harmonic mode with respect to harmonic imaging. When an array having a grid pattern other
than rectangular is used, such as a six-sided 2D array as described in US patent application Ser.
No. 09 / 488,583 filed 1/21/00, The image edges are oriented on a plane aligned with the grid
pattern. A six-sided 2D array may generate two or three image planes separated by 60 °, rather
than two image planes separated by 90 °, as shown in FIG.
[0033]
The transducer arrangement of the present invention may be used in all normal diagnostic
ultrasound modes, including different harmonic modes and with or without the use of contrast
agents. This array can be used with volumetric panoramic images, as it travels along the body to
obtain an expanded field of visible images of volumetric regions, the array as a 2D array Operate.
Reference to volumetric imaging and volumetric scanning also includes volumetric acquisition,
where volumetric region data is acquired but only selected surfaces within the volume are
displayed in detail Ru.
[0034]
The present invention provides a single transducer probe that can be used for both twodimensional and three-dimensional imaging and that performs the image quality of a 1D probe
when used for two-dimensional imaging. it can.
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