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Program Information

Pilot Project to Test the Feasibility of Automating Quantitative Ultrasound Performance Testing


D Hoeprich

D Hoeprich*, W Davros, The Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH

WE-E-134-6 Wednesday 2:00PM - 3:50PM Room: 134

Purpose:
A pilot project to test the feasibility of automating quantitative ultrasound performance testing in an effort to increase repeatability, accuracy, and efficiency.

Methods:
Images were acquired from the same phantom (Model ATS 570) with different transducers and base units. The phantom tests for image uniformity, near field ring down (1 mm to 9 mm), depth of penetration (up to 18 cm), vertical and horizontal distance accuracy (nominal distances of 30 to 40 mm), axial and lateral spatial resolution (down to 1 mm), and contrast resolution (+/- 6 dB and +/- 3dB). Images were loaded into MatLab software where algorithms were developed and used to identify phantom fiducials. Various spatial and frequency filters were applied to enhance image uniformity for processing. Performance of the MatLab analyzed images were assessed by verifying the correct identification of objects.


Results:
The program is semi autonomous in its ability to locate the image and adjust subsequent inspections with changing images. The software is capable of detecting the objects of interest. Examination of the MatLab analyzed images indicate the quantitative assessment of the ultrasound instruments can indeed be performed with comparable results to human evaluation. Location of fiducial edges and fiducial centroids can be reliably and repeatably identified to carry out the performance evaluation of the instrument. Intensities of contrast fiducials can be compared to background intensities for evaluation of system contrast.

Conclusion:
The positive results of the initial testing give reason to further develop the algorithms to more completely automate the ultrasound quantitative analysis. More work will be performed to automatically identify manufacturer and transducer type from a default naming scheme and auto-populate report sheets to increase testing efficiency and measurement repeatability. Conceivably, this type of program can be used in remote areas where physicists are scare and remote testing is feasible.

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