Interlaboratory comparison of backscatter coefficient estimates for tissue-mimicking phantoms

Janelle J. Anderson, Maria Teresa Herd, Michael R. King, Alexander Haak, Zachary T. Hafez, Jun Song, Michael L. Oelze, Ernest L. Madsen, James A. Zagzebski, William D. O'Brien, Timothy J. Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Utrasonic backscatter is useful for characterizing tissues and several groups have reported methods for estimating backscattering properties. Previous interlaboratory comparisons have been made to test the ability to accurately estimate the backscatter coefficient (BSC) by different laboratories around the world. Results of these comparisons showed variability in BSC estimates but were acquired only for a relatively narrow frequency range, and, most importantly, lacked reference to any independent predictions from scattering theory. The goal of this study was to compare Faran-scattering-theory predictions with cooperatively-measured backscatter coefficients for low-attenuating and tissue-like attenuating phantoms containing glass sphere scatterers of different sizes for which BSCs can independently be predicted. Ultrasonic backscatter measurements were made for frequencies from 1 to 12 MHz. Backscatter coefficients were estimated using two different planar-reflector techniques at two laboratories for two groups of phantoms. Excellent agreement was observed between BSC estimates from both laboratories. In addition, good agreement with the predictions of Faran's theory was obtained, with average fractional (bias) errors ranging from 8-14%. This interlaboratory comparison demonstrates the ability to accurately estimate parameters derived from the BSC, including an effective scatterer size and the acoustic concentration, both of which may prove useful for diagnostic applications of ultrasound tissue characterization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-64
Number of pages17
JournalUltrasonic Imaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010


  • Backscatter
  • Interlaboratory comparison
  • Tissue characterization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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