Quantitative ultrasound successes: Past, present and future

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Diagnostic ultrasound is ubiquitous in clinical practice because it is safe, portable, inexpensive, has high spatial resolution and is real time. Therefore, improving the capabilities of diagnostic ultrasound is a highly significant clinically. In this talk we will discuss different applications of quantitative ultrasound (QUS) imaging and how QUS approaches have evolved over time. Specifically, we will discuss the use of spectral-based approaches to estimate the backscatter coefficient (BSC) and attenuation slope and the use of envelope statistics to describe underlying tissue microstructure. These QUS approaches have been successful at classifying tissue state, monitoring focused ultrasound therapy, detecting early response of breast cancer to neoadjuvant chemotherapy and the automatic detection of nerves in the imaging field. We will demonstrate how QUS approaches can be incorporated on breast tomography machines, which allow an expansion of the tradeoff between spatial resolution and the variance of QUS estimates. One of the ongoing issues with QUS is the inability to properly account for losses in tissues that affect the estimates of the backscatter coefficient. We will demonstrate new calibration procedures that can improve the ability to account for tissue losses. Finally, we will discuss how machine learning approaches can further improve QUS techniques by eliminating the need for models and in some cases eliminating the need for a reference scan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2020
Subtitle of host publicationUltrasonic Imaging and Tomography
EditorsBrett C. Byram, Nicole V. Ruiter
ISBN (Electronic)9781510634053
StatePublished - 2020
EventMedical Imaging 2020: Ultrasonic Imaging and Tomography - Houston, United States
Duration: Feb 16 2020Feb 18 2020

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceMedical Imaging 2020: Ultrasonic Imaging and Tomography
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Backscatter coefficient
  • Quantitative ultrasound
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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