Needle visibility is of crucial importance for ultrasound guided interventional procedures. However, several factors, such as shadowing by bone or gas and tissue echogenic properties similar to needles, may compromise needle visibility. Additionally, small angle between the ultrasound beam and the needle, as well as small gauged needles may reduce visibility. Variety in needle tips design may also affect needle visibility. Whereas several studies have investigated needle visibility in 2D ultrasound imaging, no data is available for 3D ultrasound imaging, a modality that has great potential for image guidance interventions1. In this study, we evaluated needle visibility using a 3D ultrasound transducer. We examined different needles in a tissue mimicking liver phantom at three angles (200, 550 and 900) and quantify their visibility. The liver phantom was made by 5% polyvinyl alcohol solution containing 1% Silica gel particles to act as ultrasound scattering particles. We used four needles; two biopsy needles (Quick core 14G and 18G), one Ablation needle (Radiofrequency Ablation 17G), and Initial puncture needle (IP needle 17G). The needle visibility was quantified by calculating contrast to noise ratio. The results showed that the visibility for all needles were almost similar at large angles. However the difference in visibility at lower angles is more prominent. Furthermore, the visibility increases with the increase in angle of ultrasound beam with needles.

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Medical Imaging 2017: Image-Guided Procedures, Robotic Interventions, and Modeling
Department of Radiology

Arif, M., Moelker, A., & van Walsum, T. (2017). Needles tip visibility in 3D ultrasound images. In Progress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE. doi:10.1117/12.2254060