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Ultrasound Med Biol. 2000 Mar;26(3):425-32.

Accuracy of in-vitro volume estimation of small structures using three-dimensional ultrasound.

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Department of Physiology and Biomedical Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.


We describe an ultrasound probe for three-dimensional transvaginal imaging. The transducer was an annular array with a center frequency of 7.5 MHz which was rotated with an internal stepper motor. The probe had no external moving parts, and the total volume covered by a full rotation defined a half sphere. The raw digital data from the scanner were transferred to an external PC for three-dimensional reconstruction. We evaluated the three-dimensional imaging system by measuring the volumes of phantoms (range 24.8-3362.5 mm(3)) in a water tank, and found good correlation with true volumes (two observers' measurements gave a linear regression with a slope of 1. 010 and R(2) = 0.993, and a slope of 0.956 and R(2) = 0.993, respectively). The size of the point-spread function was used in the calculations to eliminate the effect of under- or overestimation due to the limited ultrasound beam resolution. An example of data acquisition, volume estimation and imaging of an embryo less than 8 weeks old in vivo with the brain cavities and body is given. We conclude that the three-dimensional reconstruction and volume estimation were accurate and repeatable.

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