Cascaded plane wave ultrasound for blood velocity vector imaging in the carotid artery

Joosje M.K. De Bakker*, Chris L. De Korte, Anne E.C.M. Saris

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Cascaded dual-polarity waves (CDWs) imaging increases the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) by transmitting trains of pulses with different polarity order, which are combined via decoding afterward. This potentially enables velocity vector imaging (VVI) in more challenging SNR conditions. However, the motion of blood in between the trains will influence the decoding process. In this work, the use of CDW for blood VVI is evaluated for the first time. Dual-angle, plane wave (PW) ultrasound, CDW-coded, and noncoded conventional PW (cPW), was acquired using a 7.8 MHz linear array at a pulse repetition frequency (PRF) of 8 kHz. CDW-channel data were decoded prior to beamforming and cross correlation-based compound speckle tracking for VVI. Simulations of single scatterer motion show a high dependence of amplitude gain on the velocity magnitude and direction for CDW-coded transmissions. Both simulations and experiments of parabolic flow show increased SNRs for CDW imaging. As a result, CDW outperforms cPW VVI in low SNR conditions, based on both bias and standard deviation (SD). Quantitative linear regression and qualitative analyses of simulated realistic carotid artery blood flow show a similar performance of CDW and cPW for high SNR (14 dB) conditions. However, reducing the SNR to 6 dB, results in a root-mean-squared error 2.7× larger for cPW versus CDW, and an R2 of 0.4 versus 0.9. Initial in vivo evaluation of a healthy carotid artery shows increased SNR and more reliable velocity estimates for CDW versus cPW. In conclusion, this work demonstrates that CDW imaging facilitates improved VVI of deeper located carotid arteries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-379
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control
Issue number3
Early online date18 Jan 2024
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


  • Acoustics
  • Blood
  • Blood flow measurement
  • blood speckle tracking
  • Carotid arteries
  • carotid artery
  • cascaded dual-polarity waves
  • coded excitation
  • Decoding
  • Imaging
  • plane wave imaging
  • Signal to noise ratio
  • Ultrasonic imaging
  • velocity vector imaging


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