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13 March 2008 A novel software-based technique for quantifying placental calcifications and infarctions from ultrasound
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In obstetrics, antenatal ultrasound assessment of placental morphology comprises an important part of the estimation of fetal health. Ultrasound analysis of the placenta may reveal abnormalities such as placental calcification and infarcts. Current methods of quantification of these abnormalities are subjective and involve a grading system of Grannum stages I-III. The aim of this project is to develop a software tool that quantifies semi-automatically placental ultrasound images and facilitates the assessment of placental morphology. We have developed a 2D ultrasound imaging software tool that allows the obstetrician or sonographer to define the placental region of interest. A secondary reference map is created for use in our quantification algorithm. Using a slider technique the user can easily define an upper threshold based on high intensity for calcification classification and a lower threshold to define infarction regions based on low intensity within the defined region of interest. The percentage of the placental area that is calcified and also the percentage of infarction is calculated and this is the basis of our new metric. Ultrasound images of abnormal and normal placentas have been acquired to aid our software development. A full clinical prospective evaluation is currently being performed and we are currently applying this technology to the three-dimensional ultrasound domain. We have developed a novel software-based technique for calculating the extent of placental calcification and infarction, providing a new metric in this field. Our new metric may provide a more accurate measurement of placental calcification and infarction than current techniques.
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John T. Ryan, Fionnuala McAuliffe M.D., Mary Higgins M.D., Marie Stanton, and Patrick Brennan "A novel software-based technique for quantifying placental calcifications and infarctions from ultrasound", Proc. SPIE 6920, Medical Imaging 2008: Ultrasonic Imaging and Signal Processing, 69200P (13 March 2008);

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