Multi-ray medical ultrasound simulation without explicit speckle modelling
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To develop a medical ultrasound (US) simulation method using T1-weighted magnetic resonance images (MRI) as the input that offers a compromise between low-cost ray-based and high-cost realistic wave-based simulations.
The proposed method uses a novel multi-ray image formation approach with a virtual phased array transducer probe. A domain model is built from input MR images. Multiple virtual acoustic rays are emerged from each element of the linear transducer array. Reflected and transmitted acoustic energy at discrete points along each ray is computed independently. Simulated US images are computed by fusion of the reflected energy along multiple rays from multiple transducers, while phase delays due to differences in distances to transducers are taken into account. A preliminary implementation using GPUs is presented.
Preliminary results show that the multi-ray approach is capable of generating view point-dependent realistic US images with an inherent Rician distributed speckle pattern automatically. The proposed simulator can reproduce the shadowing artefacts and demonstrates frequency dependence apt for practical training purposes. We also have presented preliminary results towards the utilization of the method for real-time simulations.
The proposed method offers a low-cost near-real-time wave-like simulation of realistic US images from input MR data. It can further be improved to cover the pathological findings using an improved domain model, without any algorithmic updates. Such a domain model would require lesion segmentation or manual embedding of virtual pathologies for training purposes.
KeywordsUltrasound Simulator Multi-ray-based US simulation MR-based body model US training
This work was supported in part by TÜBİTAK TEYDEB 1505 Programme under Grant # 5130002 and in part by the Turkish Ministry of Development under the TAM Project No. DPT2007K120610. The authors would like to thank Prof. Dr. Atadan Tunacı, Assoc. Prof. Burçin Ünlü, S. Girgin, O. Mat and F. Büyükkeçeci for their support.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Anonymized retrospective data was used for the experiments. No patient data were acquired for this study; hence, formal consent is not required.
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