Patents Examined by Ali M. Imam
  • Patent number: 6979294
    Abstract: A standardized acquisition methodology assists operators to accurately replicate high resolution B-mode ultrasound images obtained over several spaced-apart examinations. The methodology utilizes a split-screen display in which the arterial ultrasound image from an earlier examination is displayed on one side of the screen while a real-time “live” ultrasound image from a current examination is displayed next to the earlier image on the opposite side of the screen. A computerized echo edge recognition and tracking methodology automatically identifies ultrasound echo boundaries of the intima-media complex and automatically extracts IMT and arterial dimension measurements, without introducing human measurement error. Measurement accuracy is enhanced by use of sub-pixel resolution for echo edge boundary definition. Utilizing this methodology, measurement of vascular dimensions, such as carotid arterial IMT and diameter, the coefficient of variation is substantially reduced to values approximating from about 1.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2005
    Assignee: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Robert H. Selzer, Howard N. Hodis
  • Patent number: 6895267
    Abstract: A system for performing an invasive diagnostic or therapeutic medical procedure includes a first probe having a distal portion carrying a plurality of functional elements and a second probe having a distal portion carrying a functional element and a location sensor. The system includes a proximity processing subsystem in communication with the functional elements carried by each of the first and second probes and configured to determine a proximity of the functional element carried by the second probe relative to a first functional element carried by the first probe. The systems further includes a location processing subsystem configured to determine an absolute position and orientation of the location sensor carried by the second probe with respect to a three-dimensional reference coordinate system that can be internal or external to the three-dimensional space in which the first and second probes are positioned.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2005
    Assignee: SciMed Life Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Dorin Panescu, David W. Arnett, David K. Swanson
  • Patent number: 6837853
    Abstract: The present invention is an ultrasound imaging system comprising a transducer assembly having a scan-head, a non-volatile means for storing data related to transducer usage, user comments, technical support, maintenace of the transducer assembly, operational imaging system software for at least one imaging system, transducer assembly identification, and settings of an ultrasound imaging apparatus coupled with the transducer assembly. The transducer assembly and ultrasound imaging apparatus may commuicate with each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 4, 2005
    Assignee: Acuson Corporation
    Inventor: Vaughn Marian
  • Patent number: 6783496
    Abstract: The contrast-to-tissue ratio is improved while imaging contrast infused tissue. A subject is infused with contrast medium having microbubbles at a fundamental frequency. First and second transmit pulses are transmitted into the subject. The first and second transmit pulses each comprise first, or basic, and second, or seed, signals. The basic signal has a frequency based on the fundamental frequency and the seed signal has a subharmonic frequency based on the frequency of the basic signal. The first and second transmit pulses are phase inverted with respect to each other. Received echoes from first and second transmit pulses are filtered at a subharmonic or ultraharmonic frequency to remove tissue response and pass microbubble response.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2004
    Assignee: GE Medical Systems Global Technology Company, LLC
    Inventors: Xiaohui Hao, Richard Yun Chiao
  • Patent number: 6755789
    Abstract: An apparatus, method and system for cannulation of blood vessels. The apparatus comprises a sensor assembly including two linear transducer arrays oriented perpendicularly to each other to form a “T” shape to provide substantially simultaneous ultrasound images of at least one blood vessel in a portion of a patient's body in two perpendicular planes. The apparatus may also include one or more Doppler transducer elements to transmit and receive one or more Doppler beams at an incident angle beneath one of the transducer arrays and in alignment therewith to determine blood flow direction and velocity within the at least one blood vessel. The sensor assembly may be disposed within an elongated, flexible, protective sheath and secured to a graphically marked cover to facilitate orientation of the sensor assembly on the patient and guidance of a needle towards a desired target vessel during the cannulation procedure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2004
    Assignee: Inceptio Medical Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Bradley J. Stringer, Gary A. Simmons, Douglas A. Christensen, Shayne Messerly, Cameron P. Ford, Robert W. Evensen
  • Patent number: 6752763
    Abstract: A transducer probe has a fully populated, integrated, matrix array of acoustical transducers for ultrasound imaging. The transducer arrays include tiled subarrays of transducers which may be switched (e.g., in real-time) between vertical and horizontal modes, and may further be configured to perform a first level of transmit and receive beam forming functionality with either horizontal or vertical scanning. Example applications include medical imaging, materials testing, and sonar systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 22, 2004
    Assignee: BAE Systems Information and Electronic Systems Integration INC
    Inventor: Kenneth R. Erikson
  • Patent number: 6743175
    Abstract: The preferred embodiments described herein relate to voice-enhanced diagnostic medical ultrasound imaging systems and review stations as well as to voice-related user interfaces. With these preferred embodiments, a user can interact with an imaging system or review station by issuing verbal commands instead of using a mouse, keyboard, or other user interface that requires physical manipulation by the user. This provides a very user-friendly interface, especially to those users who have difficulty navigating complex window and menu hierarchies or who have trouble manipulating pointing devices. This also improves patient flow and provides a more efficient report generation system. Voice feedback can also be used to allow the imaging system or review station to better communicate with a user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2004
    Assignee: Acuson Corporation
    Inventor: Jeffrey M. Greenberg
  • Patent number: 6740037
    Abstract: Ultrasonic imaging utilizing high frequency ultrasound of 12 mHz in combination with constructive interference to increase the resolution of reflected images.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2004
    Inventor: Myron R. Schoenfeld
  • Patent number: 6740035
    Abstract: An ultrasonic receiving apparatus in which ultrasonic wave signals can be detected in a two-dimensional manner without necessities of electric-wiring works to a large number of very fine elements, and without increase of crosstalk and impedance. The ultrasonic receiving apparatus can be manufactured in low cost. This ultrasonic receiving apparatus includes an ultrasonic detecting element having a reception plane capable of receiving ultrasonic waves, for modulating light on the basis of ultrasonic waves applied to the respective positions of the reception plane; and a photodetector having a plurality of pixels, for detecting light output from corresponding positions of the ultrasonic detecting element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2004
    Assignee: Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Eiji Ogawa
  • Patent number: 6736781
    Abstract: A system and method for ultrasound imaging of breast tissue by injecting an ultrasound contrast agent into a duct lumen of a patient's breast to enhance the imaging of one or more ducts within a specified lobe of the breast to improve characterization of a lesion or lesions within the duct system of the specified lobe are disclosed. The ultrasound contrast agent used to improve breast imaging may be injected into the duct lumen through an orifice on the nipple and/or a duct wall into the duct lumen. The ultrasound contrast agent may be injected prior to and/or during ultrasound imaging. The ultrasound contrast agent may be an acoustically detectable gas such as a halogenated hydrocarbon, halogenated alkane gases, nitrogen, helium, argon and/or xenon. The halogenated alkane gas may be a perfluorinated hydrocarbon such as saturated perfluorocarbon, unsaturated perfluorocarbon, and/or cyclic perfluorocarbon. The acoustically detectable gas may alternatively be mixed in a liquid solution.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 18, 2004
    Assignee: Manoa Medical, Inc.
    Inventor: Roberta Lee
  • Patent number: 6733448
    Abstract: A method of transmitting scan data from an ultrasonic scanning device to a computer. A desired number of individual scan images are acquired as frames within a buffer, after which the contents of the buffer are frozen. The number of frames in the frozen buffer are counted, and the dimensions and pixel format of each frame in the frozen buffer are determined. The frames from the scanning device are transmitted to the computer via a connection device, and the transmitted frames are written to an image file in a sequential manner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2004
    Assignee: Sonocine, Inc.
    Inventors: Kevin M. Kelly, Roger Royce, Matthew Warren Smith
  • Patent number: 6733454
    Abstract: Methods and systems are provided for automatic optimization of spectral Doppler ultrasound imaging. One or more of the velocity scale (e.g., pulse repetition frequency), gain, baseline, dynamic range or other imaging parameters are optimized based on one or both of: (1) determining the optimum parameter based on data acquired at a standard or predetermined setting of the parameters and (2) identifying an artifact in the Doppler ultrasound data and discarding or minimizing the influence of the artifact on any determination of imaging parameter settings. One embodiment used for cardiac Doppler imaging identifies artifact signals using the maximum or minimum traces. For example, the velocity scale or pulse repetition frequency is set based on the maximum or minimum velocity value over one or more heartbeats identified from a maximum and minimum trace of the signal envelope or Doppler spectrum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2004
    Assignee: Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Müge M. Bakircio{haeck over (g)}lu, Bhaskar Ramamurthy
  • Patent number: 6733457
    Abstract: An ultrasonic endoscopic probe tip device which provides signals to an imaging system for transesophageal diagnosis includes a removable housing adapted to be attached to the distal end of an endoscope. A rotatable, ball-bearing-mounted phased array transducer within the housing is rotatable around its acoustic propagation axis through multiple turns. The transducer is driven by an immersed micro-motorized drive. A torque limiting gearbox couples the drive to the transducer. A position encoder provides the imaging system with transducer position information over a 360° range. An automatic transducer position locking/unlocking system is used to lock the transducer in a selected rotational position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2004
    Assignee: Vermon
    Inventors: Aimé Flesch, An Nguyen-Dinh
  • Patent number: 6733458
    Abstract: A diagnostic medical ultrasound system having an integrated invasive medical device guidance system is disclosed. The guidance system obtains image slice geometry and other imaging parameters from the ultrasound system to optimize the guidance computations and visual representations of the invasive medical device and the imaged portion of the subject. Further, the ultrasound system obtains guidance data indicating the relative location, i.e. position and/or orientation of the invasive medical device relative to the transducer and imaging plane to optimize the imaging plane and ultrasound beam characteristics to automatically optimally image both the imaged portion of the subject and the invasive medical device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2004
    Assignee: Acuson Corporation
    Inventors: Robert W. Steins, Ann Shvarts, Thilaka S. Sumanaweera
  • Patent number: 6730031
    Abstract: An ultrasound imaging system acquires a sequence of partially overlapping image frames, and stores data corresponding to the image frames in a image frame buffer. The relative spatial positions of the image frames are determined by a correlator, and the resulting spatial position data are then stored in an extended image memory and a history buffer along with data corresponding to the image frames. The data stored in the extended image memory and the history buffer can then be used to generate a panoramic image, which is displayed by the imaging system. Significantly, the data corresponding to the image frames are retained in the image frame buffer after the panoramic image has been displayed so that specific image frames can be excluded from the data corresponding to the panoramic image to either edit defective image frames from the panoramic display or to trim the boundaries of the panoramic display.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2004
    Assignee: Koninklijke Philips Electronics, N.V.
    Inventors: Lingnan Liu, Lars Jonas Olsson
  • Patent number: 6730036
    Abstract: Ultrasonic imaging to receive a signal from contrast agent microbubbles in arterioles of a myocardium, without being masked by a signal from microbubbles in capillaries of the myocardium. For example, high power ultrasonic energy is emitted to destroy microbubbles in the arterioles and capillaries. A time delay passes from the destruction. The time delay is sufficiently long to allow the arterioles to refill with microbubbles and sufficiently short so that the capillaries do not completely refill with microbubbles. Ultrasonic imaging is then performed to receive a signal between harmonics from the microbubbles refilled in the arterioles. Various other destructive and non-destructive imaging techniques are disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2004
    Assignees: Koninklijke Philips Electronics, N.V., University of Virginia
    Inventors: Patrick G. Rafter, Jerome F. Witt, Sanjiv Kaul, Kevin Wei, George A. Brock-Fisher
  • Patent number: 6730029
    Abstract: As shown in FIG. 2(a), according to the present invention, a quartz rod is used where, for example, the diameter of the end on the side to which an ultrasound probe attached is 0.58 mm, the diameter at the narrowest portion is 0.3 mm, the diameter at the end on the specimen side is 0.68 mm, and the length is 38 cm. As a result, the diameter on the side of fused quartz rod 20 to which ultrasound transducer 10 allows a favorable range of L (0,3) mode conversion efficiency; and in addition, the diameter of quartz rod 20 on the side coming into contact with specimen 50 is sufficiently large in comparison with wavelength, and in other portions it is set to be sufficiently narrow in order to obtain flexibility. FIG. 2(b) shows a transmission and a reception waveform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2004
    Assignee: Japan Science and Technology Corporation
    Inventors: Tadashi Moriya, Norio Tagawa
  • Patent number: 6730033
    Abstract: A two-dimensional array allows rapid three-dimensional ultrasound scanning. A high volume-per-second scan rate using a limited number of system channels (e.g. 192, 256 or other number of channels) is provided by a transducer array without beamforming circuitry in the probe. A fan beam of acoustic energy is transmitted along a scan plane from transducer elements that extend lengthwise over a substantial portion of the lateral aperture. Rows of these long transmit elements are provided along the elevation aperture for electronic steering of the fan beam in the elevation dimension. One or more rows of smaller receive elements are used for forming beams each representing a scan line along the lateral dimension in response to each transmission of a fan beam. Elevation resolution is provided primarily from the elevationally spaced transmit elements and partially from two or more rows of laterally spaced receive elements. The lateral resolution is responsive to the lateral spacing of the receive elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2004
    Assignee: Siemens Medical Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Lin Xin Yao, Todor Sheljaskow
  • Patent number: 6730034
    Abstract: The invention provides for methods, compositions, and devices for measuring adipose tissue and lean tissue using ultrasonic methods, compositions and devices, particularly methods, compositions and devices that facilitate placement of ultrasonic probe(s) using external anatomic landmarks such as the umbilicus, and methods, compositions, and devices that improve the reproducibility of ultrasonic measurements of object layer thickness.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2004
    Inventors: Philipp Lang, John D. Mendlein
  • Patent number: 6726630
    Abstract: Ultrasound diagnosis apparatus includes a transceiver unit, an adding processor, a filter, and an image processor. The transceiver unit insonifies an object injected with a contrast agent via an ultrasound transmission signal transmitted at a fundamental frequency f0 with at least two transmission rates. The adding processor adds a first component of the ultrasound echo signal and second component of the ultrasound echo signal. The first component is transmitted at a first rate of the at least two transmission rates and the second component is transmitted at a second rate of the at least two transmission rates. The filter suppresses at least a first frequency band of an addition result that is centered about a frequency 2·f0. The image processor then generates image data based on a suppressing result.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2004
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventor: Tetsuya Kawagishi