Limited contrast, along with speckle and acoustic noise, can reduce the diagnostic value of echocardiographic images. This study introduces dynamic histogram-based intensity mapping (DHBIM), a novel approach employing temporal variations in the cumulative histograms of cardiac ultrasound images to contrast enhance the imaged structures. DHBIM is then combined with spatial compounding to compensate for noise and speckle. The proposed techniques are quantitatively assessed (32 clinical data sets) employing (i) standard image quality measures and (ii) the repeatability of routine clinical measurements, such as chamber diameter and wall thickness. DHBIM introduces a mean increase of 120.9% in tissue/chamber detectability, improving the overall repeatability of clinical measurements by 17%. The integrated approach of DHBIM followed by spatial compounding provides the best overall enhancement of image quality and diagnostic value, consistently outperforming the individual approaches and achieving a 401.4% average increase in tissue/chamber detectability with an associated 24.3% improvement in the overall repeatability of clinical measurements.
|Journal||Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology|
|Early online date||24 Apr 2017|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 24 Apr 2017|