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Method for automatic detection of defective ultrasound linear array transducers based on uniformity assessment of clinical images - A case study

Journal article
Authors Robert Lorentsson
N. Hosseini
J. O. Johansson
W. Rosenberg
B. Stenborg
Lars Gunnar Månsson
Magnus Båth
Published in Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics
Volume 19
Issue 2
Pages 265-274
ISSN 1526-9914
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences
Pages 265-274
Language en
Keywords transducer, ultrasound, uniformity, b-mode ultrasound, quality-control, assurance, phantom, parameters, systems, Radiology, Nuclear Medicine & Medical Imaging
Subject categories Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to test an idea of and describe a concept of a novel method of detecting defects related to horizontal nonuniformities in ultrasound equipment. The method is based on the analysis of ultrasound images collected directly from the clinical workflow. In total over 31000 images from three ultrasound scanners from two vendors were collected retrospectively from a database. An algorithm was developed and applied to the images, 150 at a time, for detection of systematic dark regions in the superficial part of the images. The result was compared with electrical measurements (FirstCall) of the transducers, performed at times when the transducers were known to be defective. The algorithm made similar detection of horizontal nonuniformities for images acquired at different time points over long periods of time. The results showed good subjective visual agreement with the available electrical measurements of the defective transducers, indicating a potential use of clinical images for early and automatic detection of defective transducers, as a complement to quality control.

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