Attenuation coefficient estimation of the healthy human thyroid in vivo

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Rouyer J.
Cueva T.
Portal A.
Yamamoto T.
Lavarello R.
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Previous studies have demonstrated that attenuation coefficients can be useful towards characterizing thyroid tissues. In this work, ultrasonic attenuation coefficients were estimated from healthy human thyroids in vivo using a clinical scanner. The selected subjects were five young, healthy volunteers (age: 26 ± 6 years old, gender: three females, two males) with no reported history of thyroid diseases, no palpable thyroid nodules, no smoking habits, and body mass index less than 30 kg/m2. Echographic examinations were conducted by a trained sonographer using a SonixTouch system (Ultrasonix Medical Corporation, Richmond, BC) equipped with an L14-5 linear transducer array (nominal center frequency of 10 MHz, transducer footprint of 3.8 cm). Radiofrequency data corresponding to the collected echographic images in both transverse and longitudinal views were digitized at a sampling rate of 40 MHz and processed with Matlab codes (MathWorks, Natick, MA) to estimate attenuation coefficients using the spectral log difference method. The estimation was performed using an analysis bandwidth spanning from 4.0 to 9.0 MHz. The average value of the estimated ultrasonic attenuation coefficients was equal to 1.34 ± 0.15 dB/(cm.MHz). The standard deviation of the estimated average attenuation coefficient across different volunteers suggests a non-negligible inter-subject variability in the ultrasonic attenuation coefficient of the human thyroid.
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Ultrasonic waves, Echocardiography, Transducers, Attenuation coefficient, Echographic images, In-vivo, Linear transducer array, Quantitative estimation, Radio-frequency datum, thyroid, Ultrasonic attenuation