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Robotized Ultrasound Imaging of the Peripheral Arteries – a Phantom Study

by   Felix von Haxthausen, et al.

The first choice in diagnostic imaging for patients suffering from peripheral arterial disease is 2D ultrasound (US). However, for a proper imaging process, a skilled and experienced sonographer is required. Additionally, it is a highly user-dependent operation. A robotized US system that autonomously scans the peripheral arteries has the potential to overcome these limitations. In this work, we extend a previously proposed system by a hierarchical image analysis pipeline based on convolutional neural networks in order to control the robot. The system was evaluated by checking its feasibility to keep the vessel lumen of a leg phantom within the US image while scanning along the artery. In 100 of the images acquired during the scan process the whole vessel lumen was visible. While defining an insensitivity margin of 2.74 mm, the mean absolute distance between vessel center and the horizontal image center line was 2.47 mm and 3.90 mm for an easy and complex scenario, respectively. In conclusion, this system presents the basis for fully automatized peripheral artery imaging in humans using a radiation-free approach.


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