High-Accuracy Ultrasound Contrast Agent Detection Method for Diagnostic Ultrasound Imaging Systems

Koichi Ito, Kazumasa Noro, Yukari Yanagisawa, Maya Sakamoto, Shiro Mori, Kiyoto Shiga, Tetsuya Kodama, Takafumi Aoki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


An accurate method for detecting contrast agents using diagnostic ultrasound imaging systems is proposed. Contrast agents, such as microbubbles, passing through a blood vessel during ultrasound imaging are detected as blinking signals in the temporal axis, because their intensity value is constantly in motion. Ultrasound contrast agents are detected by evaluating the intensity variation of a pixel in the temporal axis. Conventional methods are based on simple subtraction of ultrasound images to detect ultrasound contrast agents. Even if the subject moves only slightly, a conventional detection method will introduce significant error. In contrast, the proposed technique employs spatiotemporal analysis of the pixel intensity variation over several frames. Experiments visualizing blood vessels in the mouse tail illustrated that the proposed method performs efficiently compared with conventional approaches. We also report that the new technique is useful for observing temporal changes in microvessel density in subiliac lymph nodes containing tumors. The results are compared with those of contrast-enhanced computed tomography.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3120-3130
Number of pages11
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Dec


  • Computer-aided diagnosis
  • Medical image
  • Ultrasound
  • Ultrasound contrast agent
  • Vessel density

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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