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Open AccessArticle

Liver Backscatter and the Hepatic Vasculature’s Autocorrelation Function

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Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627, USA
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Department of Medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY 14623, USA
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Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Acoustics 2020, 2(1), 3-12; https://doi.org/10.3390/acoustics2010002
Received: 5 December 2019 / Revised: 9 January 2020 / Accepted: 17 January 2020 / Published: 22 January 2020
Ultrasound imaging of the liver is an everyday, worldwide clinical tool. The echoes are produced by inhomogeneities within the interrogated tissue, but what are the mathematical properties of these scatterers? In theory, the spatial correlation function and the backscatter coefficient are linked by a Fourier transform relationship, however direct measures of these are relatively rare. Under the hypothesis that the fractal branching vasculature and fluid channels are the predominant source of scattering in normal tissues, we compare theory and experimental measures of the autocorrelation function, the frequency dependence of scattering, and fractal dimension estimates from high contrast 3D micro-CT data sets of rat livers. The results demonstrate a fractal dimension of approximately 2.2 with corresponding power law estimates of autocorrelation and ultrasound scattering. These results support a general framework for the analysis of ultrasound scattering from soft tissues.
Keywords: scattering; backscatter; ultrasound; tissue; medical ultrasound; fractal vasculature; tissue characterization scattering; backscatter; ultrasound; tissue; medical ultrasound; fractal vasculature; tissue characterization
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Carroll-Nellenback, J.J.; White, R.J.; Wood, R.W.; Parker, K.J. Liver Backscatter and the Hepatic Vasculature’s Autocorrelation Function. Acoustics 2020, 2, 3-12.

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