In this study, we present a united sign coherence factor beamformer for coherent plane-wave compounding (CPWC). CPWC is capable of reaching an image quality comparable to the conventional B-mode with a much higher frame rate. Conventional coherence factor (CF) based beamformers for CPWC are based on one-dimensional (1D) frameworks, either in the spatial coherence dimension or angular coherence dimension. Both 1D frameworks do not take into account the coherence information of the dimensions of each other. In order to take full advantage of the radio-frequency (RF) data, this paper proposes a united framework containing both spatial and angular information for CPWC. A united sign coherence factor beamformer (uSCF), which combines the conventional sign coherence factor (SCF) and the united framework, is introduced in the paper as well. The proposed beamformer is compared with the conventional 1D SCF beamformers (spatial and angular dimension beamformers) using simulation, phantom and in vivo studies. In the in vivo images, the proposed method improves the contrast ratio (CR) and generalized contrast-to-noise ratio (gCNR) by 197% and 20% over CPWC. Compared with other 1D methods, uSCF also shows an improved contrast and lateral resolution on all datasets.
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