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Signal to noise ratio comparisons for ultrasound attenuation slope estimation algorithms. Med Phys 2014 Mar;41(3):032902



Pubmed ID


Pubmed Central ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-84896801378 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)   7 Citations


PURPOSE: Attenuation imaging has a promising role in the detection of tissue abnormalities. The authors have previously compared three different frequency domain ultrasound attenuation estimation methods, for accuracy and bias. The mean estimated attenuation value in a region of interest has been the determining factor of how well a method performs; however, the noise level has not been quantified for attenuation estimated using different methods.

METHODS: The authors compare three different frequency domain ultrasound attenuation estimation methods [the reference phantom method (RPM), the centroid downshift method (CEN), and the hybrid method (HYB)] using the signal to noise ratio (SNR) metric. Both simulated and experimental tissue-mimicking phantoms are used in the performance comparison study, evaluating the impact of the variation in acoustical properties.

RESULTS: For attenuation estimation in a tissue-mimicking phantom with a known attenuation coefficient of 0.5 dB/cm/MHz, all the three methods estimated the attenuation coefficient to be ≈ 0.49 dB/cm/MHz for a transmit center frequency of 6 MHz, however, the signal to noise ratio obtained was found to be 8.5, 5.7, and 2.2 for the HYB, RPM, and CEN methods, respectively. These results demonstrate the need for the SNR metric in the comparison of different algorithms and to evaluate the impact of varying different ultrasound system and tissue parameters.

CONCLUSIONS: In this paper, the authors demonstrate that although the estimated mean attenuation value with a region of interest may be closely estimated using different methods, the signal to noise ratio obtained of the estimates can vary significantly. The centroid downshift method presented with the lowest signal-to-noise ratio of the methods compared. The hybrid method was the least susceptible to changes in the acoustical properties and provided unbiased attenuation coefficient estimates with the highest signal-to-noise ratios.

Author List

Omari EA, Varghese T


Eenas Omari PhD Assistant Professor in the Radiation Oncology department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Computer Simulation
Models, Theoretical
Phantoms, Imaging
Reproducibility of Results
Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted
Signal-To-Noise Ratio