In this paper, three different calibration methods for three-dimensional (3-D) freehand ultrasound (US) are evaluated. Calibration is the process of estimating the rigid transformation from US image coordinates to the coordinate system of the tracking sensor mounted onto the probe. Calibration accuracy has an important impact on quantitative studies. Geometrical precision can also be crucial in many interventions and surgery. The proposed evaluation framework relies on a single point phantom and a 3-D US phantom which mimics the US characteristics of human liver. Four quality measures are used: 3-D point localization criterion, distance and volume measurements, and shape based criterion. Results show that during the acquisition procedure, volumetric measurements and shapes of the reconstructed object depend on probe motion used, particularly fan motions for which errors are larger. It is also shown that accurate calibration is essential to obtain reliable quantitative information.

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IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging
Department of Radiology

Rousseau, F., Hellier, P., Letteboer, T., Niessen, W., & Barillot, C. (2006). Quantitative evaluation of three calibration methods for 3-D freehand ultrasound. IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, 25(11), 1492–1501. doi:10.1109/TMI.2006.882134