Cavitation-Enhanced Back Projection for Acoustic Rib Detection and Attenuation Mapping

Pascal Ramaekers, Martijn de Greef, Chrit T.W. Moonen, Mario G. Ries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


High-intensity focused ultrasound allows for minimally invasive, highly localized cancer therapies that can complement surgical procedures or chemotherapy. For high-intensity focused ultrasound interventions in the upper abdomen, the thoracic cage obstructs and aberrates the ultrasonic beam, causing undesired heating of healthy tissue. When a phased array therapeutic transducer is used, such complications can be minimized by applying an apodization law based on analysis of beam path obstructions. In this work, a rib detection method based on cavitation-enhanced ultrasonic reflections is introduced and validated on a porcine tissue sample containing ribs. Apodization laws obtained for different transducer positions were approximately 90% similar to those obtained using image analysis. Additionally, the proposed method provides information on attenuation between transducer elements and the focus. This principle was confirmed experimentally on a polymer phantom. The proposed methods could, in principle, be implemented in real time for determination of the optimal shot position in intercostal high-intensity focused ultrasound therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1726-1736
Number of pages11
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Adaptive focusing
  • Attenuation
  • Cavitation
  • High-intensity focused ultrasound
  • Intercostal
  • Obstruction
  • Phased array
  • Reflection
  • Rib detection
  • Thoracic cage


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