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On the reproducibility of expert-operated and robotic ultrasound acquisitions

  • Risto Kojcev
  • Ashkan Khakzar
  • Bernhard Fuerst
  • Oliver Zettinig
  • Carole Fahkry
  • Robert DeJong
  • Jeremy Richmon
  • Russell Taylor
  • Edoardo Sinibaldi
  • Nassir Navab
Original Article
  • 188 Downloads

Abstract

Purpose

We present the evaluation of the reproducibility of measurements performed using robotic ultrasound imaging in comparison with expert-operated sonography. Robotic imaging for interventional procedures may be a valuable contribution, but requires reproducibility for its acceptance in clinical routine. We study this by comparing repeated measurements based on robotic and expert-operated ultrasound imaging.

Methods

Robotic ultrasound acquisition is performed in three steps under user guidance: First, the patient is observed using a 3D camera on the robot end effector, and the user selects the region of interest. This allows for automatic planning of the robot trajectory. Next, the robot executes a sweeping motion following the planned trajectory, during which the ultrasound images and tracking data are recorded. As the robot is compliant, deviations from the path are possible, for instance due to patient motion. Finally, the ultrasound slices are compounded to create a volume. Repeated acquisitions can be performed automatically by comparing the previous and current patient surface.

Results

After repeated image acquisitions, the measurements based on acquisitions performed by the robotic system and expert are compared. Within our case series, the expert measured the anterior–posterior, longitudinal, transversal lengths of both of the left and right thyroid lobes on each of the 4 healthy volunteers 3 times, providing 72 measurements. Subsequently, the same procedure was performed using the robotic system resulting in a cumulative total of 144 clinically relevant measurements. Our results clearly indicated that robotic ultrasound enables more repeatable measurements.

Conclusions

A robotic ultrasound platform leads to more reproducible data, which is of crucial importance for planning and executing interventions.

Keywords

Ultrasound acquisition Robotic ultrasound Autonomous acquisition Reproducibility Thyroid 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank Wolfgang Wein and his team (ImFusion GmbH, Munich, Germany) for their support and opportunity to use the ImFusion framework.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does contain a study with human participants and was approved by the JHU Homewood Institutional Review Board under the number HIRB00004673. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Copyright information

© CARS 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Risto Kojcev
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ashkan Khakzar
    • 1
    • 3
  • Bernhard Fuerst
    • 1
  • Oliver Zettinig
    • 3
  • Carole Fahkry
    • 4
  • Robert DeJong
    • 4
  • Jeremy Richmon
    • 5
  • Russell Taylor
    • 6
  • Edoardo Sinibaldi
    • 2
  • Nassir Navab
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Computer Aided Medical ProceduresJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Center for Micro-BioRoboticsIstituto Italiano di TecnologiaPontederaItaly
  3. 3.Computer Aided Medical ProceduresTechnische Universität MünchenMunichGermany
  4. 4.Otolaryngology, Johns Hopkins Medical InstitutionsBaltimoreUSA
  5. 5.Division of Head and Neck SurgeryMassachusetts Eye and EarBostonUSA
  6. 6.Laboratory for Computational Sensing and RoboticsJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA

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