Bone surface enhancement in ultrasound images using a new Doppler-based acquisition/processing method

Xu Yang, Songyuan Tang, Ennio Tasciotti, Raffaella Righetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Ultrasound (US) imaging has long been considered as a potential aid in orthopedic surgeries. US technologies are safe, portable and do not use radiations. This would make them a desirable tool for real-time assessment of fractures and to monitor fracture healing. However, image quality of US imaging methods in bone applications is limited by speckle, attenuation, shadow, multiple reflections and other imaging artifacts. While bone surfaces typically appear in US images as somewhat 'brighter' than soft tissue, they are often not easily distinguishable from the surrounding tissue. Therefore, US imaging methods aimed at segmenting bone surfaces need enhancement in image contrast prior to segmentation to improve the quality of the detected bone surface. In this paper, we present a novel acquisition/processing technique for bone surface enhancement in US images. Inspired by elastography and Doppler imaging methods, this technique takes advantage of the difference between the mechanical and acoustic properties of bones and those of soft tissues to make the bone surface more easily distinguishable in US images. The objective of this technique is to facilitate US-based bone segmentation methods and improve the accuracy of their outcomes. The newly proposed technique is tested both in in vitro and in vivo experiments. The results of these preliminary experiments suggest that the use of the proposed technique has the potential to significantly enhance the detectability of bone surfaces in noisy ultrasound images.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number025035
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • bone surface detection
  • Doppler imaging, bone segmentation
  • musculoskeletal ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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