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BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to an
ultrasonic probe, and more particularly to an ultrasonic probe provided with a standoff member.
2. Description of the Related Art A standoff member is used to separate an ultrasonic wave
transmitting / receiving wavefront of an ultrasonic probe from the surface of a living body to set
a focus point near the surface of the living body. The conventional stand-off member is
configured in a rectangular parallelepiped, i.e. the upper and lower surfaces of the stand-off
member are set parallel.
However, according to the study of the present inventors, there is a problem that multiple
reflection tends to remain between the surface of the living body and the upper surface of the
standoff member as described above if the upper surface and the lower surface are parallel.
The present invention has been made in view of the above-described conventional problems, and
an object thereof is to provide an ultrasonic probe capable of effectively suppressing the problem
of multiple reflections.
In order to achieve the above object, according to the present invention, a probe main body
provided with an array transducer for transmitting and receiving ultrasonic waves, and a
transmitting and receiving wavefront of the probe main body are provided. A standoff member
for propagating ultrasonic waves, and the living body contact surface of the standoff member in
at least one direction of the transducer element arrangement direction of the array transducer
and the direction orthogonal thereto with respect to the transmission / reception wavefront Is
According to the above configuration, since the standoff member does not have a uniform
thickness but has an inclined surface, the problem of multiple reflection as described above can
be alleviated.
That is, for example, a part of the ultrasonic wave is reflected by the living body contact surface
of the standoff member, and a part of the ultrasonic wave is reflected by the transmission /
reception wavefront, and even if it is repeated, the reflection point is gradually shifted and the
reflection Points can be led to the side.
Therefore, image quality deterioration due to multiple reflection can be reduced, and disease
diagnosis accuracy can be improved.
Desirably, the bio-contacting surface of the standoff member is inclined in both the vibrating
element arrangement direction and the direction orthogonal thereto.
BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION Preferred embodiments of the present
invention will be described below with reference to the drawings.
FIG. 1 shows a preferred embodiment of an ultrasonic probe according to the present invention,
and FIG. 1 is an external view thereof.
In the present embodiment, the ultrasonic probe 12 is configured of a probe main body 14 and a
standoff member 18 detachably attached thereto.
The standoff member 18 is constituted by a member having an acoustic impedance equivalent to
that of a living body, and by providing the standoff member 18 in front of the probe main body
14, the focusing point of the ultrasonic beam is made to the living body. It becomes possible to
set near the surface of ten.
In the probe main body 14, an array transducer 20 is incorporated in the present embodiment.
The ultrasonic beam can be linearly scanned by sequentially driving each transducer in the array
transducer 20.
Of course, the present invention is also applicable to the case where an ultrasonic beam is sector
A cable 16 is connected to the probe main body 14, and the probe main body 14 is connected to
the ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus via the cable 16.
As shown in FIG. 1, the biological contact surface 18A of the standoff member 18 is inclined with
respect to the acoustic lens contact surface 18B. As a result, as shown in FIG. 1, even if multiple
reflections of ultrasonic waves occur between the contact surfaces 18A and 18B, the ultrasonic
waves can be gradually released to the side, reducing the influence of the multiple reflections. it
can. The living body contact surface 18 </ b> A is inclined in at least one of the longitudinal
direction and the lateral direction of the probe main body 14.
FIG. 2 shows an example of the standoff member 18A when the living body contact surface 18A
is inclined in both the longitudinal direction and the lateral direction. As illustrated, the thickness
of the standoff member 18 is different in both the longitudinal direction Y and the lateral
direction X. That is, the thicknesses of L1, L2, L3 and L4 in FIG. 2 are also different.
As described above, according to the present invention, there is an advantage that the multiple
reflection caused by the standoff member can be reduced to improve the image quality of the
ultrasonic image.
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