Probe Localization for Freehand 3D Ultrasound by Tracking Skin Features

  • Shih-Yu Sun
  • Matthew Gilbertson
  • Brian W. Anthony
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8674)


Ultrasound probe localization with respect to the patient’s body is essential for freehand three-dimensional ultrasound and image-guided intervention. However, current methods for probe localization generally involve bulky and expensive equipment. In this paper, a highly cost-effective and miniature-mobile system is described for 6-DoF probe localization that is robust to rigid patient motion. In this system, skin features in the scan region are recorded at each ultrasound scan acquisition by a lightweight camera rigidly mounted to the probe. A skin map is built based on the skin features and optimal probe poses are estimated in a Bayesian probabilistic framework that incorporates a prior motion model, camera frames, and ultrasound scans. Through freehand scanning on three different body parts, it is shown that on average, for every probe travel distance of 10 mm, the translational and rotational errors are 0.91±0.49 mm and 0.55°±0.17°, respectively. The 3D reconstructions were also validated by comparison with real ultrasound scans.


Probe Contact Rotational Error Camera Frame Reprojection Error Skin Feature 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shih-Yu Sun
    • 1
  • Matthew Gilbertson
    • 1
  • Brian W. Anthony
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory for Manufacturing and Productivity, Medical Electronic Device Realization CenterMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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