A novel complementation method of an acoustic shadow region utilizing a convolutional neural network for ultrasound-guided therapy

Momoko Matsuyama, Norihiro Koizumi, Akihide Otsuka, Kento Kobayashi, Shiho Yagasaki, Yusuke Watanabe, Jiayi Zhou, Yu Nishiyama, Naoki Matsumoto, Hiroyuki Tsukihara, Kazushi Numata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: Noise-free ultrasound images are essential for organ monitoring during regional ultrasound-guided therapy. When the affected area is located under the ribs, however, acoustic shadow is caused by the reflection of sound from hard tissues such as bone, and the image is output with missing information in this region. Therefore, in the present study, we attempt to complement the image in the missing area. Methods: The overall flow of the complementation method to generate a shadow-free composite image is as follows. First, we constructed a binary classification method for the presence or absence of acoustic shadow on a phantom kidney based on a convolutional neural network. Second, we created a composite shadow-free image by searching for a suitable image from a time-series database and superimposing the corresponding area without shadow onto the missing area of the target image. In addition, we constructed and verified an automatic kidney mask generation method utilizing U-Net. Results: The complementation accuracy for kidney tracking could be enhanced by template matching. Zero-mean normalized cross-correlation (ZNCC) values after complementation were higher than that of before complementation under four different data generation conditions: (i) changing the position of the bed of the robotic ultrasound diagnostic system in the translational direction, (ii) changing the probe angle in the translational direction, (iii) with the addition of rotational motion of the probe to condition (ii). Although there was large variation in the shape of the kidney contour in condition (iii), the proposed method improved the ZNCC value from 0.5437 to 0.5807. Conclusions: The effectiveness of the proposed method was demonstrated in phantom experiments. Verification of its effectiveness in real organs is necessary in future study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-119
Number of pages13
JournalInternational journal of computer assisted radiology and surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Acoustic shadow
  • Synthesized
  • Ultrasound image
  • Ultrasound-guided therapy


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