Comparisons of the Rayleigh and K-Distribution Models Using in vivo Breast and Liver Tissue

Document Type




Format of Original

7 p.

Publication Date



Elsevier Inc.

Source Publication

Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

DOI: 10.1016/S0301-5629(97)00204-4


There is a strong interest in finding out which statistical model is the most appropriate for describing the envelope of the backscattered ultrasonic echoes from different types of tissues. The Rayleigh model is commonly employed, but this requires conditions, such as the presence of large number of randomly located scatterers with fairly uniform cross-sections, that are not always met. However, our research indicates that a model based on the K-distribution may provide a better fit to empirical data over a range of scattering conditions than the standard Rayleigh model. In this study, we looked at the K-distribution as a descriptor of the backscattered envelope of the breast and liver tissues (in vivo). By examining data from various tissue regions, a goodness-of-fit test (a least squares error method) was used to determine whether a Rayleigh or K-distribution model is more appropriate. From a large group of patients and volunteer scans (a total of 72 subjects), the fit between the K-distribution and the data is shown to have a much smaller error than the Rayleigh model.


Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology, Vol. 24, No. 1 (January 1998): 93-100. DOI.

Dr. Robert Mothen was affiliated with Drexel University at the time of publication.