Efficiency of U.S. Tissue Perfusion Estimators

Minwoo Kim, Craig K. Abbey, Michael F. Insana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We measure the detection and discrimination efficiencies of conventional power-Doppler estimation of perfusion without contrast enhancement. The measurements are made in a phantom with known blood-mimicking fluid flow rates in the presence of clutter and noise. Efficiency is measured by comparing functions of the areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve for Doppler estimators with those of the ideal discriminator, for which we estimate the temporal covariance matrix from echo data. Principal-component analysis is examined as a technique for increasing the accuracy of covariance matrices estimated from echo data. We find that Doppler estimators are <50% efficient at directed perfusion detection between 0.1 and 2.0 mL/min per 2 cm2 flow area. The efficiency was 20%-40% for the task of discriminating between two perfusion rates in the same range. We conclude that there are reasons to search for more efficient perfusion estimators, one that incorporates covariance matrix information that could significantly enhance the utility of Doppler ultrasound without contrast enhancement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7478092
Pages (from-to)1131-1139
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2016


  • Ideal discriminator (ID)
  • pulsed-Doppler ultrasound
  • receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis
  • tumor perfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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