An image artifact is any image attribute, which is not present in the original imaged object. An image artifact is sometime the result of an improper operation of the imager, and in other times a consequence of natural processes or properties of the human body.
Artifacts in diagnostic ultrasound are a reflection or an echo, which appears on the display and represents the real anatomical structure not correctly. An artifact can be a false, multiple or misleading information introduced by the imaging system or by interaction of ultrasound with the adjacent tissue.
Artifacts in ultrasound can be classified as to their source like e.g.:
physiologic (motion, different sound velocities, acoustical impedances of tissue);
Image artifacts can occur in each medical ultrasound. Then an interpretation of the image is complicated and can eliminate the structural information of objects looking for.
See also Ultrasound Imaging Procedures.
An undesirable background interference or disturbance that affects image quality.
The noise is commonly characterized by the standard deviation of signal intensity in the image of a uniform object (phantom) in the absence of artifacts. The measured noise may depend on the particular phantom used due to variable effects.
Noisy images appear when the signal to noise ratio is too low. There are various noise sources in any electronic system, including Johnson noise, shot noise, thermal noise.
See also Interference Artifact.
The perfect image quality is dependent on some assumptions of the propagation of ultrasound waves in tissues after generating in an imaging system. These assumptions are important for the developing of optimal ultrasound imaging systems.
The soundvelocity in the examined tissue is homogeneous and constant (around 1540 m/s).
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