Direct Surface Extraction from 3D Freehand Ultrasound Images

By Youwei Zhang (based on work with Robert N. Rohling, Dinesh K.Pai)

We present a new technique for the extraction of surfaces from 3D ultrasound data. Surface extraction from ultrasound data is challenging for a number of reasons including noise and artifacts in the images and non-uniform data sampling. A method is proposed to fit an approximating radial basis function to the group of data samples. An explicit surface is then obtained by iso-surfacing the function. In most previous 3D ultrasound research, a pre-processing step is taken to interpolate the data into a regular voxel array and a corresponding loss of resolution. We are the first to represent the set of semi-structured ultrasound pixel data as a single function. From this we were able to extract surfaces directly with tunable parameters for smoothness and noise rejection.

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