Ultrasound Signal Processing for Imaging and Diagnosis

  • Robert C. Waag
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Medical Informatics book series (LNMED, volume 17)

Abstract

The advantages of ultrasonic imaging in medicine have led to its widespread use as a diagnostic tool as well as numerous efforts to extend its clinical usefulness. Current research employing computer-based techniques exploits the utility of existing and emerging digital technology to analyze the distributions of amplitude in an image, perform frequency analysis of backscatter, determine angular dependence of backscatter, and assess structure dimensions, area and volume. The distribution of amplitudes in an entire image or a selected field may be described by histograms which yield statistics and can also be used for amplitude mapping to enhance features. Amplitude distributions may also be described by two-dimensional Fourier transforms which yield information in terms of spatial frequency amplitudes. Frequency analysis of backscattered signals provides data about the spacing of scatterers and also the attenuation properties of the propagation path. Angular-dependent backscatter has been used to describe volume scattering from tissue and also to characterize surface roughness. Assessment of structure size has been accomplished to assist in the evaluation of cardiac function as well as provide information about fetal development. Research results now available show the feasibility of extracting more information than reflector position and strength from acoustic signals. Opportunities for important contributions by digital processing appear to exist in three-dimensional imaging, analysis of frequency- and angular-dependent scattering, quantification of structure geometry, and multiple parameter analysis or combinations of techniques. Three-dimensional imaging requires new beam steering techniques, data storage, and time gating which may be conveniently accomplished using digital technology. Angular- and frequency-dependent scattering techniques now under development promise to yield detailed information about the mechanical properties such as compressibility and density as they vary throughout tissue. Quantitative analysis of structure geometry should be enhanced by edge-finding algorithms that operate on three-dimensional data and introduce automation into the calculation of parameters. Pattern recognition systems offer the potential of yielding new diagnostic parameters from weighted combinations of image features and tissue characteristics. Significant progress toward the development of an ultimate ultrasonic system for medical imaging can be expected as research continues.

Keywords

Filtration Attenuation Retina Lution Compressibility 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert C. Waag
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Electrical Engineering and RadiologyUniversity of RochesterRochesterUSA

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