The feasibility of an infrared system for real-time visualization and mapping of ultrasound fields.


In treatment planning for ultrasound therapy, it is desirable to know the 3D structure of the ultrasound field. However, mapping an ultrasound field in 3D is very slow, with even a single planar raster scan taking typically several hours. Additionally, hydrophones that are used for field mapping are expensive and can be damaged in some therapy fields. So there is value in rapid methods which enable visualization and mapping of the ultrasound field in about 1 min. In this note we explore the feasibility of mapping the intensity distribution by measuring the temperature distribution produced in a thin sheet of absorbing material. A 0.2 mm thick acetate sheet forms a window in the wall of a water tank containing the transducer. The window is oriented at 45 degrees to the beam axis, and the distance from the transducer to the window can be varied. The temperature distribution is measured with an infrared camera; thermal images of the inclined plane could be viewed in real time or images could be captured for later analysis and 3D field reconstruction. We conclude that infrared thermography can be used to gain qualitative information about ultrasound fields. Thermal images are easily visualized with good spatial and thermal resolutions (0.044 mm and 0.05 degrees C in our system). The focus and field structure such as side lobes can be identified in real time from the direct video output. 3D maps and image planes at arbitrary orientations to the beam axis can be obtained and reconstructed within a few minutes. In this note we are primarily interested in the technique for characterization of high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) fields, but other applications such as physiotherapy fields are also possible.

DOI: 10.1088/0031-9155/55/11/N02

Cite this paper

@article{Shaw2010TheFO, title={The feasibility of an infrared system for real-time visualization and mapping of ultrasound fields.}, author={Adam Shaw and John F Nunn}, journal={Physics in medicine and biology}, year={2010}, volume={55 11}, pages={N321-7} }