Multi-view 3D echocardiography compounding based on feature consistency

Cheng Yao*, John M. Simpson, Tobias Schaeffter, Graeme P. Penney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Echocardiography (echo) is a widely available method to obtain images of the heart; however, echo can suffer due to the presence of artefacts, high noise and a restricted field of view. One method to overcome these limitations is to use multiple images, using the 'best' parts from each image to produce a higher quality 'compounded' image. This paper describes our compounding algorithm which specifically aims to reduce the effect of echo artefacts as well as improving the signal-to-noise ratio, contrast and extending the field of view. Our method weights image information based on a local feature coherence/consistency between all the overlapping images. Validation has been carried out using phantom, volunteer and patient datasets consisting of up to ten multi-view 3D images. Multiple sets of phantom images were acquired, some directly from the phantom surface, and others by imaging through hard and soft tissue mimicking material to degrade the image quality. Our compounding method is compared to the original, uncompounded echocardiography images, and to two basic statistical compounding methods (mean and maximum). Results show that our method is able to take a set of ten images, degraded by soft and hard tissue artefacts, and produce a compounded image of equivalent quality to images acquired directly from the phantom. Our method on phantom, volunteer and patient data achieves almost the same signal-to-noise improvement as the mean method, while simultaneously almost achieving the same contrast improvement as the maximum method. We show a statistically significant improvement in image quality by using an increased number of images (ten compared to five), and visual inspection studies by three clinicians showed very strong preference for our compounded volumes in terms of overall high image quality, large field of view, high endocardial border definition and low cavity noise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6109-6128
Number of pages20
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Volume56
Issue number18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes

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