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Pixel Compounding: Resolution-Enhanced Ultrasound Imaging for Quantitative Analysis

      Abstract

      Accurate measurement of structural features represented in medical images is important in clinical trials and patient diagnosis. A key factor for precision is spatial resolution, which in ultrasonic imaging is limited by transducer array arrangements, transmitting frequency, and data acquisition firmware. In this paper, a variation of pixel compounding is proposed to enhance ultrasound resolution using acquired cine loops. The technique operates on a sequence of ultrasound B-scan images acquired with random motion. Subpixel registration is estimated and a maximum a posteriori (MAP) approach with the shift information is used to reconstruct a high-resolution single image. A nonhomogeneous anisotropic diffusion algorithm follows from the estimation process and is implemented to enhance the high-resolution edges. Preliminary tests using simulations and phantom studies show promising results. Pixel compounding can be a powerful preprocessing tool to assure accurate segmentation, measurement, and analysis of ultrasound images. (E-mail: [email protected] )

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