Contrast-enhanced intravascular ultrasound pulse sequences for bandwidth-limited transducers.
Recent studies have shown the feasibility of tissue and contrast harmonic imaging with a prototype nonlinear intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) system using a conventional single-element rotating IVUS catheter. In this study, a dual-frequency transducer element was mounted in an IVUS catheter and its second harmonic imaging performance was investigated and compared with that of a conventional IVUS catheter. Hydrophone measurements showed a transmit efficiency improvement of >6 dB for the dual-frequency catheter at 20 MHz. In vitro phantom experiments showed a signal-to noise ratio improvement of >5 dB in second harmonic mode at 40 MHz (H40) with the dual-frequency catheter, when using equal transmit voltage for both catheters. Finally, in vivo experiments were conducted and showed image improvement in H40 acquisitions with respect to the conventional IVUS catheter.