Automating Spine Curvature Measurement in Volumetric Ultrasound via Adaptive Phase Features.

Affiliation

The School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing, China. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Ultrasound volume projection imaging (VPI) has been recently suggested. This novel imaging method allows a non-radiation assessment of spine deformity with free-hand 3-D ultrasound imaging. This paper presents a fully automatic method to evaluate the spine curve in VPI images corresponding to different projection depth of the volumetric ultrasound, thus making it possible to analyze 3-D spine deformity. The new automatic method is based on prior knowledge about the geometric arrangement of the spinous processes. The frequency bandwidth of log-Gabor filters is adaptively adjusted to calculate the oriented phase congruency, facilitating the segmentation of the spinous column profile. And the spine curvature angle is finally calculated according to the inflection points of the curve over the segmented spinous column profile. The performance of the automatic method is evaluated on spine VPI images among patients with different scoliotic angles. The curvature angles obtained using the proposed method have a high linear correlation with those by the manual method (r = 0.90, p < 0.001) and X-ray Cobb's method (r = 0.87, p < 0.001). The feasibility of 3-D spine deformity assessment is also demonstrated using VPI images corresponding to various projection depth. The results suggest that this method can substantially improve the recognition of the spinous column profile, especially facilitating the applications of 3-D spine deformity assessment.

Keywords

3-D ultrasound,Adaptive log-Gabor wavelet,Cobb angle,Oriented phase congruency,Scoliosis,Volume projection imaging,

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