Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology vol:27 issue:3 pages:389-398
The distortion of a sound wave during propagation results in progressive transfer of the energy from fundamental to higher harmonics, and is dependent on the nonlinearity of the medium. We studied if relative changes in acoustical nonlinearity occur in healthy myocardium during the cardiac cycle. Radiofrequency data were acquired from transthoracic echocardiography (2.5 and 3.5 MHz), parasternal long axis view, from five dogs and nine healthy volunteers. Integrated backscatter was calculated after filtering for fundamental (FIB) and second harmonic frequencies (SHIB), from a region in the posterior myocardial wall. The results suggest that there is little difference between the SHIB and FIB, although there were large variations between individuals. The maximal changes in nonlinearity, as estimated by SHIB/FIB ratio, mostly occurred during systole. SHIB presented similar cyclic variation with FIB (p = NS). Further studies are necessary to separate the role of myocardial nonlinearity, attenuation, propagating distance, or acoustical properties of the blood. The results are important in further tissue characterization studies employing second harmonic data.