In order to study longitudinal movement and intramural shearing of the arterial wall with a Lagrangian viewpoint using ultrafast ultrasound imaging, a new tracking scheme is required. We propose the use of an iterative tracking scheme based on temporary down-sampling of the frame-rate, anteroposterior tracking, and unbiased block-matching using two kernels per position estimate. The tracking scheme was evaluated on phantom B-mode cine loops and considered both velocity and displacement for a range of down-sampling factors (k
= 1–128) at the start of the iterations. The cine loops had a frame rate of 1300–1500 Hz and were beamformed using delay-and-sum. The evaluation on phantom showed that both the mean estimation errors and the standard deviations decreased with an increasing initial down-sampling factor, while they increased with an increased velocity or larger pitch. A limited in vivo study shows that the major pattern of movement corresponds well with state-of-the-art low frame rate motion estimates, indicating that the proposed tracking scheme could enable the study of longitudinal movement of the intima–media complex using ultrafast ultrasound imaging, and is one step towards estimating the propagation velocity of the longitudinal movement of the arterial wall.
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