To understand a linear artifact that projects deep to reflective structures that move rapidly while using tissue harmonic imaging with pulse inversion (PI) sonography. We hypothesize that this artifact is due to a cancellation error between firings in PI imaging, and it is, therefore, similar in generation to the twinkling artifact in color Doppler sonography. This artifact could be studied with the use of surfaces of different roughness to represent different rates of motion, in which roughness corresponds to spatial fluctuations in surface height. Given very slight variations in beam focusing as occurs with sonographic imaging arrays, these spatial fluctuations translate into temporal fluctuations in the received signal as would occur with tissue motion.We scanned 4 different sandpaper grits and a smooth surface through a water path using fundamental and PI mode, 1- and 2-pulse techniques, respectively. The sandpaper and the smooth surface were scanned through a water path at mechanical indices of 0.1 to 0.7. Four independent images were subtracted pairwise to remove nonfluctuating signals. These noise pixels were counted and analyzed.Analysis of variance showed that the noise generated behind the different surfaces was highly significantly different. Two-tailed t tests generally showed significant differences in the quantity of noise between fundamental and harmonic imaging behind the roughest 3 grades of sandpaper. A multiple regression model showed significantly greater slopes for harmonic imaging for all grades of sandpaper and the smooth surface.The noise and, by extension, the linear streak artifact in musculoskeletal imaging are dependent on the mechanical index and are functions of sandpaper roughness. This would be equivalent to a subtraction error between 2 firings due to soft tissue motion, and the artifact may be a way to identify rapid soft tissue motion in PI images.
View details for Web of Science ID 000225515300006
View details for PubMedID 15557302