Automated performance assessment of ultrasound systems using a dynamic phantom

J. Joy (Lead / Corresponding author), F. Riedel, A. A. Valente, S. Cochran, G. A. Corner

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Quality assurance of medical ultrasound imaging systems is limited by repeatability, difficulty in quantifying results, and the time involved. A particularly interesting approach is demonstrated in the Edinburgh pipe phantom which, with an accompanying mathematical transformation, produces a single figure of merit for image quality from individual measurements of resolution over a range of depths. However, the Edinburgh pipe phantom still requires time-consuming manual scanning, mitigating against its routine use. This paper presents a means to overcome this limitation with a new device, termed the Dundee dynamic phantom, allowing rapid set-up and automated operation. The Dundee dynamic phantom is based on imaging two filamentary targets, positioned by computer control at different depths in a tank of 9.4% ethanol–water solution. The images are analysed in real time to assess if the targets are resolved, with individual measurements at different depths again used to calculate a single figure of merit, in this case for lateral resolution only. Test results are presented for a total of 18 scanners in clinical use for different applications. As a qualitative indication of viability, the figure of merit produced by the Dundee dynamic phantom is shown to differentiate between scanners operating at different frequencies and between a relatively new, higher quality system and an older, lower quality system.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)199-204
    Number of pages6
    JournalUltrasound
    Volume22
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014

    Keywords

    • Dynamic phantom
    • Quality assurance
    • Resolution integral
    • Test object
    • Ultrasound

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