Feasibility of next generation non-linear beamforming ultrasound methods to characterize and size kidney stones

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Advanced ultrasound beamforming methods for imaging kidney stones may help address the sensitivity and size overestimation problems with standard B-mode ultrasound. The study objective was to demonstrate feasibility of advanced ultrasound beamforming methods including plane wave synthetic focusing (PWSF), short-lag spatial coherence (SLSC) imaging, mid-lag spatial coherence (MLSC) imaging with incoherent compounding, and aperture domain model image reconstruction (ADMIRE).


The ultrasound techniques were evaluated using a research-based ultrasound system applied to an in vitro kidney stone model (n=12, 4 and 8cm depths) and in a pilot study of human stone formers (n=5). Stone diameter sizing, shadow contrast, and stone contrast were compared among the different techniques and to B-mode. CT measurements were used to determine true stone size in the pilot study. Analysis of variance was used to analyze the differences among group means, and t-test when comparing to B-mode, with p