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Assessing Ultrasound Probe Uniformity From Clinical Images: Proof of Feasibility for a Variety of Probe Models

A Ferrero*, S Stekel , D Tradup , N Hangiandreou , Z Long , Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN


(Sunday, 7/14/2019)  

Room: ePoster Forums

Purpose: The functional integrity and uniformity of each transducer is generally tested in air and/or with uniform phantoms, requiring significant personnel effort and access time to the scanners. In this work, we investigated the feasibility of using clinical images acquired on each transducer to perform probe uniformity artifact identification.

Methods: All images acquired in our large, multi-center clinical practice were copied locally to a QC server. Data was collected for a consecutive quarter. A variety of probe types (linear and curvilinear arrays, phased arrays, tightly curved arrays etc) were included in the analysis. A Matlab-based routine was developed to daily sort the collected data by scanner room and probe type. A second Matlab-based routine was developed to register all images from the same probe, scale them to a common pixel size, generate composite images and save a weekly report for the user to review. Whenever potential probe artifacts were flagged by visual inspection, phantom data were acquired for confirmation, and the probe replaced if a severe artifact was identified. New clinical uniformity images following probe replacement were used to confirm resolution of the uniformity artifact.

Results: ~200 individual probes yielded enough images on a weekly basis to allow for a meaningful generation of a clinical uniformity image. 24/200 probes demonstrated artifacts in the clinical uniformity reports at least once during the collection period. QC testing confirmed the presence of artifacts for 17/24 of the probes. For 3/17 of the probes the artifact was severe enough to induce immediate replacement of the transducer from the scanner. Post replacement clinical uniformity images demonstrated successful removal of the artifact in all 3 cases.

Conclusion: ultrasound probe uniformity evaluation using clinically acquired images is a feasible and practical approach to identify probes that may no longer be suitable for clinical activity.


Not Applicable / None Entered.


Not Applicable / None Entered.

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