A motion-based approach to abdominal clutter reduction.
In ultrasound images, clutter is a noise artifact most easily observed in anechoic or hypoechoic regions. It appears as diffuse echoes overlying anatomical structures of diagnostic importance, obscuring tissue borders and reducing image contrast. A novel clutter reduction method for abdominal images is proposed, wherein the abdominal wall is displaced during successive-frame image acquisitions. A region of clutter distal to the abdominal wall was observed to move with the abdominal wall, and finite impulse response (FIR) and blind source separation (BSS) motion filters were implemented to reduce this clutter. The proposed clutter reduction method was tested in simulated and phantom data and applied to fundamental and harmonic in vivo bladder and liver images from 2 volunteers. Results show clutter reductions ranging from 0 to 18 dB in FIR-filtered images and 9 to 27 dB in BSS-filtered images. The contrast-to-noise ratio was improved by 21 to 68% and 44 to 108% in FIR- and BSS-filtered images, respectively. Improvements in contrast ranged from 4 to 12 dB. The method shows promise for reducing clutter in other abdominal images.
Lediju, MA; Pihl, MJ; Hsu, SJ; Dahl, JJ; Gallippi, CM; Trahey, GE
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