A Semi-automated Method for the Measurement of the Fetal Nuchal Translucency in Ultrasound Images

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Nowadays the measurement of the nuchal translucency thickness is being used as part of routine ultrasound scanning during the end of the first trimester of pregnancy, for the screening of chromosomal defects, as trisomy 21. Currently, the measurement is being performed manually by physicians. The measurement can take a long time for being accomplished, needs to be performed by highly skilled operators, and is prone to errors. In this paper we present an algorithm that automatically detects the border of the nuchal translucency, once a region of interest has been manually identified. The algorithm is based on the minimisation of a cost function, and the optimisation is performed using the dynamic programming paradigm. The method we present overcomes several of the drawbacks present in the state of the art algorithms.