UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Adaptive spatial compounding for improving ultrasound images of the epidural space on human subjects Tran, Denis; Hor, King-Wei; Kamani, Allaudin; Rohling, Robert N.; Lessoway, Vickie


Administering epidural anesthesia can be a difficult procedure, especially for inexperienced physicians. The use of ultrasound imaging can help by showing the location of the key surrounding structures: the ligamentum flavum and the lamina of the vertebrae. The anatomical depiction of the interface between ligamentum flavum and epidural space is currently limited by speckle and anisotropic reflection. Previous work on phantoms showed that adaptive spatial compounding with non-rigid registration can improve the depiction of these features. This paper describes the development of an updated compounding algorithm and results from a clinical study. Average-based compounding may obscure anisotropic reflectors that only appear at certain beam angles, so a new median-based compounding technique is developed. In order to reduce the computational cost of the registration process, a linear prediction algorithm is used to reduce the search space for registration. The algorithms are tested on 20 human subjects. Comparisons are made among the reference image plus combinations of different compounding methods, warping and linear prediction. The gradient of the bone surfaces, the Laplacian of the ligamentum flavum, and the SNR and CNR are used to quantitatively assess the visibility of the features in the processed images. The results show a significant improvement in quality when median-based compounding with warping is used to align the set of beam-steered images and combine them. The improvement of the features makes detection of the epidural space easier. Copyright 2008 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International