24 February 2012 Tendon strain imaging using non-rigid image registration: a validation study
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Ultrasound image has already been proved to be a useful tool for non-invasive strain quantifications in soft tissue. While clinical applications only include cardiac imaging, the development of techniques suitable for musculoskeletal system is an active area of research. On this study, a technique for speckle tracking on ultrasound images using non-rigid image registration is presented. This approach is based on a single 2D+t registration procedure, in which the temporal changes on the B-mode speckle patterns are locally assessed. This allows estimating strain from ultrasound image sequences of tissues under deformation while imposing temporal smoothness in the deformation field, originating smooth strain curves. METHODS: The tracking algorithm was systematically tested on synthetic images and gelatin phantoms, under sinusoidal deformations with amplitudes between 0.5% and 4.0%, at frequencies between 0.25Hz and 2.0Hz. Preliminary tests were also performed on Achilles tendons isolated from human cadavers. RESULTS: The strain was estimated with deviations of -0.011%±0.053% on the synthetic images and agreements of ±0.28% on the phantoms. Some tests with real tendons show good tracking results. However, significant variability between the trials still exists. CONCLUSIONS: The proposed image registration methodology constitutes a robust tool for motion and deformation tracking in both simulated and real phantom data. Strain estimation in both cases reveals that the proposed method is accurate and provides good precision. Although the ex-vivo results are still preliminary, the potential of the proposed algorithm is promising. This suggests that further improvements, together with systematic testing, can lead to in-vivo and clinical applications.
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Nuno M. Almeida, Nuno M. Almeida, Pieter Slagmolen, Pieter Slagmolen, Daniel Barbosa, Daniel Barbosa, Lennart Scheys, Lennart Scheys, Leonie Geukens, Leonie Geukens, Shingo Fukagawa, Shingo Fukagawa, Koen Peers, Koen Peers, Johan Bellemans, Johan Bellemans, Paul Suetens, Paul Suetens, Jan D'Hooge, Jan D'Hooge, "Tendon strain imaging using non-rigid image registration: a validation study", Proc. SPIE 8320, Medical Imaging 2012: Ultrasonic Imaging, Tomography, and Therapy, 832010 (24 February 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.911401; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.911401

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