Conventional ultrasound (US) devices use the time of flight (TOF) of reflected US pulses to calculate distances inside the scanned tissues and thus create images. The speed of sound (SOS) is assumed to be constant in all human soft tissues at a generally accepted average value of 1540 m s(-1). This assumption is a source of systematic errors up to several millimeters and of image distortion in quantitative US imaging. In this work, an extension of a method recently published by Fontanarosa et al (2011 Med. Phys. 38 2665-73) is presented: the aim is to correct SOS aberrations in three-dimensional (3D) US images in those cases where a spatially co-registered computerized tomography (CT) scan is also available; the algorithm is then applicable to a more general case where the lines of view (LOV) of the US device are not necessarily parallel and coplanar, thus allowing correction also for US transducers other than linear. The algorithm was applied on a multi-modality pelvic US phantom, scanned through three different liquid layers on top of the phantom with different SOS values; the results show that the correction restores a better match between the CT and the US images, reducing the differences to sub-millimeter agreement. Fifteen clinical cases of prostate cancer patients were also investigated: the SOS corrections of prostate centroids were on average +3.1 mm (max + 4.9 mm-min + 1.3 mm). This is in excellent agreement with reports in the literature on differences between measured prostate positions by US and other techniques, where often the discrepancy was attributed to other causes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology