The interpretation of ultrasound images remains a difficult task and the opinion of different doctors is generally not unequivocal. Therefore, there is a growing interest in the field of computer-aided diagnosis. In the field of medical image processing, computer-aided diagnosis includes image enhancement to facilitate visual interpretation, automatic indication of affected areas, organs and other regions of medical interest, the performance of automatic measurements and image registration. In this article, we introduce a new algorithm for ultrasound image enhancement that employs a multivariate texture classifier based on the co-occurrence matrix, which, in combination with an adaptive texture smoothing filter, is used to enhance the visual difference between and improve boundary detection between healthy neonatal brain tissue and tissue affected by periventricular leukomalacia. For a quantitative comparison, we delineate the periventricular leukomalacia-affected regions with two different active contours before and after processing 10 images with the proposed technique and several speckle filters from the literature. The semi-automatic delineations thus obtained are compared with the manual delineations of a neonatologist. In all cases, the average delineation achieved with the proposed technique is closer to that of the manual expert delineation than when the images are processed with the other techniques.

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Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology
Department of Pediatrics

Stippel, G., Philips, W., & Govaert, P. (2005). A tissue-specific adaptive texture filter for medical ultrasound images. Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology, 31(9), 1211–1223. doi:10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2005.05.008