Journal of Medical Ultrasonics

, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 27–33 | Cite as

Estimation method for sound velocity distribution for high-resolution ultrasonic tomographic imaging

  • Keiichiro AbeEmail author
  • Mototaka Arakawa
  • Hiroshi Kanai
Original Article



With commercial ultrasonic equipment, the sound velocity is fixed to a constant value of 1530 or 1540 m/s, which is used for beam formation. However, the assumption of a constant sound velocity is not optimal, as the sound velocity in a living body is heterogeneous. In this study, a novel method was proposed to estimate the distribution of the sound velocity in a region of interest.


The sound velocity distribution was estimated by fitting the theoretical propagation time of the ultrasonic wave from the scatterer to each of the probe elements with measured values.


In a phantom experiment, the sound velocity distribution was estimated by the proposed method with a maximum estimation error of 0.6%, and the resultant local sound velocity values successfully improved the quality of the ultrasonic image.


The proposed method has the potential to improve ultrasonic image quality in in vivo experiments by estimating the sound velocity distribution.


Ultrasound imaging Ultrasound velocity 


Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical statement

This article does not contain studies with human or animal subjects performed by the authors.

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest with regard to the presented research.


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Copyright information

© The Japan Society of Ultrasonics in Medicine 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keiichiro Abe
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mototaka Arakawa
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hiroshi Kanai
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Graduate School of EngineeringTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School of Biomedical EngineeringTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan

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