Surface extraction with a three-dimensional freehand ultrasound system

TitleSurface extraction with a three-dimensional freehand ultrasound system
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsZhang, W. Y., R. N. Rohling, and D. K. Pai
JournalUltrasound Med Biol
Date PublishedNov

This paper presents a system for acquiring three-dimensional ultrasound data and extracting surfaces of the examined structures. The acquisition is performed freehand with a PC-based two dimensional ultrasound machine and an optical tracker. The extraction of surfaces from ultrasound data are normally inhibited by speckle, shadowing and gaps in the acquired data. A new method is developed that extracts a surface directly from the irregularly spaced, noisy freehand ultrasound data. The freehand data are first interpolated with radial basis functions and then a mesh is formed along an isosurface of the functional interpolation. The ability of radial basis functions to smooth speckle and interpolate across gaps is demonstrated on a series of experiments with phantoms and human tissue in a water bath. The geometry of the extracted surface matches the external measurements with an average difference ranging from 0.8 to 2.9 mm. These differences are within the range of errors from calibration, resolution and landmark localization. The experiments also show the ability to create continuous and realistic surfaces from scans that require multiple sweeps over a structure.


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