Parametric Ultrasound Imaging from Backscatter Coefficient Measurements: Image Formation and Interpretation

Michael F. Insana, Timothy J. Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A broadband method for measuring backscatter coefficients σb and other acoustic parameters is described. From the σb measurements, using a commercially-available imaging system, four high-resolution parametric ultrasound images are formed in a C-scan image plane. Scatterer size images are computed from the frequency dependence of σb and a correlation model function that describes the structure and elastic properties of the medium. Scattering strength images are computed from the absolute magnitude of σb. Chi-square images are generated to display how well the correlation model represents the interrogated medium. Integrated backscatter coefficient images are formed over the transducer bandwidth. All four images are generated simultaneously and compared with the corresponding B-mode image. Test samples with known physical properties were used to demonstrate experimentally that accurate parametric images are possible if an accurate correlation model is used. Local variations in attenuation, the center frequency and bandwidth of the transducer, and the distribution of scatterer sizes greatly influence the accuracy of estimates and the appearance of the image, thus demonstrating the importance of these factors in parametric image interpretation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-267
Number of pages23
JournalUltrasonic Imaging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Backscatter coefficient
  • correlation function
  • parametric imaging
  • scatterer size
  • scattering strength
  • spectral analysis
  • ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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