Special Issue

Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing

, Volume 45, Issue 11, pp 1143-1152

First online:

Robust border enhancement and detection for measurement of fetal nuchal translucency in ultrasound images

  • Yu-Bu LeeAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science and Engineering, Ewha Womans University
  • , Min-Jeong KimAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science and Engineering, Ewha Womans University
  • , Myoung-Hee KimAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science and Engineering, Ewha Womans UniversityCenter for Computer Graphics and Virtual Reality, Ewha Womans University Email author 

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Abstract

Ultrasonic measurement of nuchal translucency (NT) thickness in the first trimester of pregnancy has recently been proposed as the most useful marker in early screening for fetal chromosomal abnormalities. However, manual tracing of the two echogenic lines in the image, using on-screen calipers, is hampered by weak edges, together with noise and other artifacts, leading to variable results and inefficiency. Our semi-automatic method of fetal NT thickness measurement uses a coherence-enhancing diffusion filter to enhance the border and reduce noise, followed by detection of the NT by minimization of a cost function, that combines intensity, edge strength and continuity, using dynamic programming. This method has been validated by determining the correlation between manual and semi-automatic measurements.

Keywords

Fetal nuchal translucency Edge-enhancing filtering Border detection Dynamic programming Semi-automatic measurement