JP2013192628A - Ultrasonic image diagnostic apparatus - Google Patents

Ultrasonic image diagnostic apparatus Download PDF

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Publication number
JP2013192628A
JP2013192628A JP2012060600A JP2012060600A JP2013192628A JP 2013192628 A JP2013192628 A JP 2013192628A JP 2012060600 A JP2012060600 A JP 2012060600A JP 2012060600 A JP2012060600 A JP 2012060600A JP 2013192628 A JP2013192628 A JP 2013192628A
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Prior art keywords
puncture needle
ultrasonic
image data
image
reflected
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JP2012060600A
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JP5786772B2 (en
Inventor
Daisuke Kaji
大介 梶
Yoshihiro Takeda
義浩 武田
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Konica Minolta Inc
コニカミノルタ株式会社
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Abstract

An ultrasonic diagnostic imaging apparatus capable of specifying the speed of sound by a simple method is provided.
A puncture needle position detector 203e detects the position of a puncture needle inserted into a subject from a received signal. The sound speed calculation unit 203f calculates the sound speed in the subject based on the received signal obtained by receiving the reflected ultrasonic wave reflected by the puncture needle detected by the puncture needle position detection unit 203e with the ultrasonic probe. .
[Selection] Figure 4

Description

  The present invention relates to an ultrasonic diagnostic imaging apparatus.

  2. Description of the Related Art Conventionally, biological tissue diagnosis (biopsy) has been performed in which a puncture needle is inserted into a living body to collect a tissue or a body fluid and diagnose it. In this case, when collecting a predetermined tissue in the living body, the puncture needle is attached to an ultrasonic probe equipped with an attachment or a guide so that the puncture needle is not punctured at another position by mistake, An operator such as a doctor displays an ultrasound image from in-vivo ultrasound image data acquired by the ultrasound probe, confirms the puncture position while viewing this, and performs puncture of the puncture needle.

  The conventional ultrasonic diagnostic imaging apparatus corrects the sound speed in the living body, and performs phasing addition on the received signal obtained from the ultrasonic wave received by the ultrasonic probe according to the corrected sound speed. Improvements in the quality of ultrasound images have been made.

  In such an ultrasonic diagnostic imaging apparatus, a delay amount for each channel is measured for each subject such as a patient or for each type of ultrasonic probe, and a sound velocity correction value is calculated and stored, and stored. There is a technique in which image quality is improved by appropriately reading out correction values and performing phasing addition (for example, Patent Document 1).

Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 2000-83956

  However, the technique described in Patent Document 1 is very cumbersome because it is necessary to calculate the speed of sound by trial and error for each condition of the subject.

  An object of the present invention is to provide an ultrasonic diagnostic imaging apparatus that can specify the speed of sound by a simple method.

In order to solve the above-described problems, the invention described in claim 1 outputs a transmission ultrasonic wave toward a subject by a drive signal and receives a reception signal obtained by receiving a reflected ultrasonic wave from the subject. In an ultrasonic diagnostic imaging apparatus that includes an ultrasonic probe for outputting, and generates ultrasonic image data for displaying an ultrasonic image based on a reception signal output by the ultrasonic probe,
A puncture needle position detector for detecting the position of the puncture needle inserted into the subject from the received signal;
A sound speed calculation unit for calculating a sound speed in the subject based on a reception signal obtained by receiving the reflected ultrasonic wave reflected by the puncture needle detected by the puncture needle position detection unit by the ultrasonic probe; ,
It is provided with.

According to a second aspect of the present invention, in the ultrasonic diagnostic imaging apparatus according to the first aspect,
The ultrasonic probe outputs a transmission ultrasonic wave toward a subject by a driving signal by a plurality of transducers, and receives a reflected ultrasonic wave from the subject and acquires a reception signal for each transducer. And
The sound velocity calculation unit specifies a transducer that has received reflected ultrasound having the maximum intensity among the plurality of transducers that have received reflected ultrasound reflected by the puncture needle detected by the puncture needle position detection unit. , Based on the distance between the identified transducer and a transducer that outputs a transmission ultrasonic wave corresponding to the reflected ultrasonic wave received by the transducer, and the reception timing of the reflected ultrasonic wave having the maximum intensity. It is characterized by calculating the speed of sound in the specimen.

The invention according to claim 3 is the ultrasonic diagnostic imaging apparatus according to claim 2,
A phasing addition unit for phasing and adding a reception signal obtained from the reflected ultrasound from the subject;
Based on the received signal after the phasing addition, an image generation unit that generates image data for displaying an ultrasonic image;
With
The phasing addition unit changes the center of the reception aperture to the transducer that has received the reflected ultrasonic wave having the maximum intensity among the plurality of transducers identified by the sound velocity calculation unit, and is calculated by the sound velocity calculation unit. Performing phasing addition of the received signal according to the sound speed,
The image generation unit is a puncture needle image data in which a puncture needle image that is an image of a portion of the puncture needle inserted into the subject is emphasized based on a reception signal obtained by changing the phase of the reception opening and performing phasing addition Is generated.

The invention according to claim 4 is the ultrasonic diagnostic imaging apparatus according to claim 3,
The phasing addition unit makes the reception aperture center the same as the transmission aperture center of the transmission ultrasonic wave transmitted by the ultrasonic probe, and adjusts the phasing of the reception signal according to the sound velocity calculated by the sound velocity calculation unit. Add,
The image generation unit is configured to puncture the image data generated based on a reception signal that is phased and added with the center of the reception aperture being the same as the transmission aperture center of the transmission ultrasound transmitted by the ultrasound probe. The needle image data is synthesized.

The invention according to claim 5 is the ultrasonic diagnostic imaging apparatus according to claim 1 or 2,
A phasing addition unit for phasing and adding a reception signal obtained from the reflected ultrasound from the subject;
Based on the received signal after the phasing addition, an image generation unit that generates image data for displaying an ultrasonic image;
With
The image generation unit performs phasing addition of the reception signal according to the sound speed calculated by the sound speed calculation unit.

  According to the present invention, the speed of sound can be specified by a simple method.

1 is a system configuration diagram of a medical image management system according to the present embodiment. It is a figure which shows the external appearance structure of an ultrasonic image diagnostic apparatus. It is a block diagram which shows schematic structure of an ultrasonic image diagnostic apparatus. It is a block diagram which shows the functional structure of a receiving part. It is a block diagram which shows the functional structure of an image memory part. It is a flowchart explaining a frame image data generation process. It is a flowchart explaining a puncture needle recognition process. It is a flowchart explaining a sound speed analysis process. It is a flowchart explaining a puncture image extraction process. It is a figure explaining a received signal. It is a figure explaining transmission / reception of the beam for puncture needle search. It is a figure explaining the received signal obtained from the reflected ultrasonic wave from a puncture needle. It is a figure explaining Hough conversion. It is a figure explaining the procedure of sound speed analysis. It is a figure explaining the calculation method of puncture access information. It is a figure explaining the calculation method of puncture access information. It is a figure explaining a receiving aperture center. It is a figure explaining the production | generation of the synthetic image data which concern on this Embodiment. It is a figure explaining the production | generation of the conventional synthetic image data. It is a figure explaining the effect of this Embodiment. It is a figure explaining the effect of this Embodiment. It is a figure explaining the effect of this Embodiment.

  Hereinafter, a medical image management system according to an embodiment of the present invention will be described with reference to the drawings. However, the scope of the invention is not limited to the illustrated examples. In addition, in the following description, what has the same function and structure attaches | subjects the same code | symbol, and abbreviate | omits the description.

As shown in FIG. 1, the medical image management system 100 includes a RIS (Radiological Information System) 10, an ultrasound image diagnostic apparatus 20, a PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System) 30, and a client terminal 40. It has.
Each of the above devices is connected to be able to perform data communication via a communication network N such as a LAN (Local Area Network). The medical image management system 100 may be connected to a modality of a type different from that of the ultrasonic image diagnostic apparatus 20, for example, CT (Computer Tomography), MRI (Magnetic Resonance Diagnostic Apparatus), CR (Computer radiography), DR (digital X-ray imaging apparatus), XA (angiographic X-ray diagnostic apparatus), ES (endoscopic apparatus), and the like.

  The RIS 10 performs information management such as medical appointment reservation, diagnosis result report, and results management in the medical image management system 100. The RIS 10 transmits imaging order information generated by an electronic medical chart system (not shown) or the like to the ultrasonic image diagnostic apparatus 20.

  The ultrasonic diagnostic imaging apparatus 20 is an apparatus that displays and outputs an ultrasonic image of a state of a living body tissue of a patient (hereinafter sometimes referred to as a subject) in accordance with imaging order information received from the RIS 10. In other words, the ultrasonic diagnostic imaging apparatus 20 transmits ultrasonic waves (transmitted ultrasonic waves) to the inside of a subject such as a living body, and also reflects reflected waves of reflected ultrasonic waves (reflected ultrasonic waves: echoes) within the subject. Receive. The ultrasound diagnostic imaging apparatus 20 converts the received reflected ultrasound into an electrical signal, and generates ultrasound image data based on this. The ultrasonic diagnostic imaging apparatus 20 displays the internal state in the subject as an ultrasonic image based on the generated ultrasonic image data. The ultrasonic diagnostic imaging apparatus 20 generates supplementary information related to the generated ultrasonic image data based on the imaging order information. The ultrasound diagnostic imaging apparatus 20 appends the incidental information to the ultrasound image data, generates an image file composed of DICOM image data conforming to the DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine) standard, and transmits the image file to the PACS 30. Can do.

  As shown in FIG. 2, the ultrasonic diagnostic imaging apparatus 20 includes an ultrasonic diagnostic imaging apparatus main body 21 and an ultrasonic probe 22. The ultrasonic probe 22 transmits transmission ultrasonic waves as described above and receives reflected ultrasonic waves. The ultrasonic diagnostic imaging apparatus main body 21 is connected to the ultrasonic probe 22 via a cable 23, and transmits an electric signal drive signal to the ultrasonic probe 22, thereby providing an object to the ultrasonic probe 22. Transmit ultrasonic waves to the inside. The ultrasonic diagnostic imaging apparatus main body 21 receives a reception signal that is an electrical signal generated by the ultrasonic probe 22 in response to the reflected ultrasonic wave from the subject received by the ultrasonic probe 22. Then, ultrasonic image data is generated as described above.

  The ultrasonic probe 22 includes a transducer 22a (see FIG. 3) made of a piezoelectric element. For example, a plurality of transducers 22a are arranged in a one-dimensional array in the azimuth direction (scanning direction). . In the present embodiment, an ultrasonic probe 22 including n (eg, 192) transducers 22a having 1 to n channels is used. Note that the vibrators may be arranged in a two-dimensional array. Further, the number of transducers 22a can be set arbitrarily. In this embodiment, a linear electronic scan probe is used for the ultrasound probe 22, but either an electronic scanning method or a mechanical scanning method may be used, and a linear scanning method or a sector scanning method may be used. Alternatively, any method of the convex scanning method can be adopted.

Further, an attachment 25 for guiding insertion of the puncture needle 24 in the azimuth direction is provided on a side portion of the ultrasonic probe 22. The attachment 25 guides the insertion so that the insertion angle of the puncture needle 24 is defined, and can change the insertion angle.
In the present embodiment, the attachment 25 is not provided, and for example, a guide groove for guiding the insertion angle of the puncture needle 24 may be provided in the ultrasonic probe 22.

  As shown in FIG. 3, the ultrasonic diagnostic imaging apparatus main body 21 includes, for example, an operation input unit 201, a transmission unit 202, a reception unit 203, an image processing unit 204, an image memory unit 205, and a DSC (Digital Scan). Converter) 206, display unit 207, control unit 208, storage unit 209, and communication unit 210.

  The operation input unit 201 includes, for example, various switches for inputting a command for instructing diagnosis, data such as personal information of a subject, and various parameters for displaying an ultrasonic image on the display unit 207, A button, a trackball, a mouse, a keyboard, and the like are provided, and an operation signal is output to the control unit 208.

  The transmission unit 202 is a circuit that generates a transmission ultrasonic wave in the ultrasonic probe 22 by supplying a drive signal that is an electrical signal to the ultrasonic probe 22 via the cable 23 under the control of the control unit 208. . That is, the transmission unit 202 includes, for example, a clock generation circuit, a delay circuit, and a pulse generation circuit. The clock generation circuit is a circuit that generates a clock signal that determines the transmission timing and transmission frequency of the drive signal. The delay circuit sets a delay time for each individual path corresponding to each transducer corresponding to the transmission timing of the drive signal, and delays the transmission of the drive signal by the set delay time to form an ultrasonic beam constituted by transmission ultrasonic waves. It is a circuit for performing focusing (transmission beam forming). The pulse generation circuit is a circuit for generating a pulse signal as a drive signal at a predetermined cycle. The transmission unit 202 configured as described above drives, for example, a continuous part (for example, 64) of n (for example, 192) transducers arranged in the ultrasound probe 22. Then, transmit ultrasonic waves are generated. Thus, the focused ultrasonic beam is sometimes referred to as a scanning beam. The transmission unit 202 performs scanning (scanning) by shifting the vibrator to be driven in the azimuth direction every time transmission ultrasonic waves are generated. In the present embodiment, the transmission unit 202 does not delay the transmission of the drive signal by the delay circuit, and gives the drive signal to the ultrasonic probe 22 so as to drive a plurality of transducers simultaneously. The ultrasonic probe 22 can generate an ultrasonic beam composed of plane waves having a constant beam width. The ultrasonic beam generated in this way is sometimes referred to as a puncture needle search beam, and is used for searching for a puncture needle, which will be described later. Further, as will be described later, the transmission unit 202 can also generate a sound speed analysis beam on which the ultrasonic beam is focused.

  The receiving unit 203 is a circuit that receives a reception signal that is an electrical signal from the ultrasound probe 22 via the cable 23 under the control of the control unit 208. As shown in FIG. 4, the reception unit 203 includes, for example, an AMP (AMPlifier) 203a, an ADC (Analog-Digital Converter) 203b, a sampling memory 203c, a phasing addition unit 203d, a puncture needle position detection unit 203e, and a sound velocity calculation unit 203f. It has.

AMP203a the received signal, for each individual path corresponding to each of the n oscillators 22a 1 ~22a n, a circuit for amplifying a preset amplification factor. In this embodiment, corresponding to each of the n oscillators 22a 1 ~22a n, n pieces of AMP203a 1 ~203a n are provided.
The ADC 203b is a circuit for sampling the received signal amplified by the AMP 203a by analog-digital conversion (A / D conversion). In this embodiment, in response to each of the n AMP203a 1 ~203a n, n pieces of ADC203b 1 ~203b n are provided.

Sampling memory 203c has a storage area of a plurality of channels corresponding to each of the vibrators 22a 1 ~22a n, has a plurality of sampling storage area for each channel. In the sampling memory 203c, for example, in accordance with FIFO (First-In / First-Out) format, the received signals after A / D conversion stored in a plurality of sampling storage areas are shifted at each sampling timing of the received signals. . Thereby, the sampling memory 203c can memorize | store a received signal in time series.

  The phasing / adding unit 203d uses the received signal stored in the sampling memory 203c as a reference to the received signal of the channel corresponding to the center of the predetermined receiving aperture, and reads out the received signal corresponding to the delay time for each channel. Read while shifting and add these data. That is, the phasing addition unit 203d adjusts the time phase by giving a delay time to each A / D converted reception signal, and adds them (phasing addition) to generate sound ray data. That is, the phasing addition unit 203d performs reception beam forming as described above to generate sound ray data. The delay time corresponds to the set sound speed. The phasing addition unit 203d outputs the generated sound ray data to the image processing unit 204.

  When the received signal obtained from the reflected ultrasound of the puncture needle search beam transmitted as described above is stored in the sampling memory 203c, the puncture needle position detector 203e analyzes the received signal, Puncture needle echo information indicating the angle and position of the puncture needle 24 inserted into the subject is generated. In addition, the puncture needle position detection unit 203e generates puncture access information that specifies the actual insertion angle and depth of the puncture needle 24 inserted into the subject based on the generated puncture needle echo information. A specific method for generating puncture needle echo information and puncture access information will be described later. Then, the puncture needle position detection unit 203e adjusts the channel that is the center of the reception opening in the phasing addition in order to generate sound ray data that constitutes puncture needle image data described later based on the generated puncture access information. Instructs the phase addition unit 203d.

  The sonic velocity calculation unit 203f performs puncture needle echo based on the puncture needle echo information generated by the puncture needle position detection unit 203e when a reception signal obtained by transmission / reception of the sonic velocity analysis beam is stored in the sampling memory 203c. While correcting the information, the sound velocity in the subject is calculated. A specific method of correcting the puncture needle echo information and a method of calculating the sound speed will be described later. Then, the sound speed calculation unit 203f instructs the delay / addition unit 203d to set the delay time based on the calculation result of the sound speed.

  The image processing unit 204 generates B-mode image data by performing envelope detection processing, logarithmic compression, and the like on the sound ray data from the receiving unit 203 and adjusting the dynamic range and gain to perform luminance conversion. To do. In other words, the B-mode image data represents the intensity of the received signal by luminance. The image processing unit 204 may be capable of generating A-mode image data, M-mode image data, and image data by the Doppler method in addition to the B-mode image data.

  The image memory unit 205 is configured by a semiconductor memory such as a DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory), for example, and stores B-mode image data transmitted from the image processing unit 204 in units of frames. B-mode image data in units of frames may be referred to as ultrasonic image data or frame image data. The image memory unit 205 is composed of a large-capacity memory that can hold frame image data for a predetermined time (for example, 5 minutes). For example, the ultrasonic image data for the latest predetermined time is held by the FIFO method. Is done. More specifically, as shown in FIG. 5, the image memory unit 205 includes, for example, a puncture needle image frame buffer 205a, a biological tissue image frame buffer 205b, and a composite image frame buffer 205c.

  The puncture needle image frame buffer 205a stores puncture needle image data in units of frames. The biological tissue image frame buffer 205b stores biological tissue image data representing the biological tissue in the subject in units of frames. That is, ultrasonic image data obtained by phasing and adding reception signals so that the reception aperture center is a channel corresponding to the transmission aperture center of the ultrasonic beam to be transmitted is stored. The composite image frame buffer 205c reads out the puncture needle image data and the biological tissue image data from the puncture needle image frame buffer 205a and the biological tissue image frame buffer 205b, respectively, and outputs composite image data which is ultrasonic image data synthesized. Store in frames.

  The ultrasonic image data generated as described above is transmitted from the image memory unit 205 to the DSC 206 by one frame every predetermined time under the control of the control unit 208.

  The DSC 206 converts the ultrasonic image data received from the image memory unit 205 into an image signal based on a television signal scanning method, and outputs the image signal to the display unit 207.

  As the display unit 207, a display device such as an LCD (Liquid Crystal Display), a CRT (Cathode-Ray Tube) display, an organic EL (Electronic Luminescence) display, an inorganic EL display, or a plasma display is applicable. The display unit 207 displays an ultrasonic image on the display screen according to the image signal output from the DSC 206. In the present embodiment, a 15-inch LCD having a white or full-color LED (Light-Emitting Diode) backlight is applied as the display unit 207. In addition, in LCD provided with the backlight of LED, for example, it may be comprised so that the brightness | luminance of LED may be adjusted by analyzing ultrasonic image data. At this time, one screen may be divided into a plurality of areas, and the brightness of the LEDs may be adjusted for each area. Moreover, you may make it implement the brightness | luminance adjustment of LED in the whole screen. In addition, any screen size applied to the display unit 207 can be applied. The backlight applied to the display unit 207 is not limited to an LED, and for example, a CCFL (Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp) may be applied.

The control unit 208 includes, for example, a CPU (Central Processing Unit), a ROM (Read Only Memory), and a RAM (Random Access Memory), and reads various processing programs such as a system program stored in the ROM to read the RAM. The operation of each part of the ultrasonic diagnostic imaging apparatus 20 is centrally controlled according to the developed program.
The ROM is configured by a nonvolatile memory such as a semiconductor and the like, and can be executed on the system program corresponding to the ultrasonic diagnostic imaging apparatus 20 and the system program, for example, a frame image data generation process and a puncture image extraction process, which will be described later This stores various processing programs for executing and various data. These programs are stored in the form of computer-readable program code, and the CPU sequentially executes operations according to the program code.

  The storage unit 209 is configured by a large-capacity recording medium such as an HDD (Hard Disk Drive) or an SSD (Solid State Drive), and can store ultrasonic image data generated as described above. . Here, the storage unit 209 can store still image ultrasonic image data for one frame and moving image data generated to display moving images of ultrasonic image data for several frames. In addition to the above-described recording medium, a portable recording medium such as a DVD-R (Digital Versatile Disk-Recordable) or a CD-R (Compact Disk-Recordable), a DVD-R drive for recording data on the recording medium, A data read / write device such as a CD-R drive may be provided, and the storage unit 209 may be configured by these. Further, the storage unit 209 may store an image file made up of DICOM image data generated as described above.

  The communication unit 210 includes a LAN adapter, a router, a TA (Terminal Adapter), and the like, and transmits and receives data to and from external devices such as the RIS 10, the PACS 30, and the client terminal 40 connected via the communication network N.

  As shown in FIG. 1, the PACS 30 is a database system that stores and manages image files and the like generated in the ultrasonic diagnostic imaging apparatus 20 and performs search and data analysis. The PACS 30 accumulates and stores the image file in, for example, a relational database based on incidental information included in the image file received from the ultrasonic image diagnostic apparatus 20. Then, the PACS 30 searches the image file using the patient ID, examination ID, and the like designated in accordance with an operation instruction from the image interpretation doctor or the like as a search key, and outputs the image file to the image viewer or imager. When the PACS 30 receives an image file data acquisition request including a search key such as a patient ID and an examination ID from an external device, the PACS 30 can search for an image file corresponding to the acquisition request and transmit the image file to the external device.

  Next, frame image data generation processing executed by the control unit 208 of the ultrasonic image diagnostic apparatus 20 in the medical image management system 100 configured as described above will be described with reference to FIG. This frame image data generation process is a process executed when the ultrasonic image diagnosis apparatus 20 generates ultrasonic image data for one frame.

  First, the control unit 208 executes puncture needle recognition processing for causing the puncture needle position detection unit 203e to function, and acquires puncture needle echo information (step S101). Here, the puncture needle recognition process will be described in detail with reference to FIG.

  The control unit 208 transmits and receives the puncture needle search beam as described above (step S201).

  Here, the puncture needle 24 has a characteristic that the ultrasonic impedance is strongly specularly reflected in the subject because the acoustic impedance is greatly different from that of the living tissue in the subject. In the present embodiment, an ultrasonic beam composed of a plane wave is transmitted as a puncture needle search beam using this property. That is, for example, when the ultrasonic beam to be transmitted is focused, the received signal obtained from the ultrasonic wave reflected by the puncture needle 24 appears as shown by the broken line part A as shown in FIG. Therefore, a characteristic reception signal cannot be obtained, and detection of the puncture needle 24 is difficult. On the other hand, when the ultrasonic beam to be transmitted is a plane wave, a plane wave is formed by the ultrasonic wave reflected by the puncture needle 24, so that the ultrasonic wave reflected by the puncture needle 24 is shown in FIG. The received signal obtained from the beam appears as shown by the broken line part B. Therefore, a reception signal having a linear characteristic can be obtained, and thereby the puncture needle 24 can be detected. As described above, in the present embodiment, the puncture needle 24 can be detected by one transmission / reception of the puncture needle search beam, which is an ultrasonic beam composed of a plane wave, so that a decrease in frame rate can be reduced. It becomes like this.

  Note that the puncture needle search beam may be transmitted from any position of the ultrasonic probe 22, but when transmitted from the end of the ultrasonic probe 22, the puncture needle 24 is quickly recognized. be able to. Further, if the puncture needle search beam is transmitted from both the left and right ends of the ultrasonic probe 22, the puncture needle 24 can be quickly recognized regardless of whether it is inserted from the left or right direction of the ultrasonic probe 22. it can. Here, when an ultrasonic probe in which transducers are arranged in a two-dimensional array is used, it is preferable to transmit a puncture needle search beam from four end portions. The puncture needle search beam may be transmitted / received in any direction as long as a reception signal can be obtained by reflected ultrasonic waves from the puncture needle 24. However, transmission is preferably performed at a predetermined angle with respect to the depth direction, and if the angle is perpendicular to or close to the angle at which the puncture needle 24 is inserted, the detection accuracy of the puncture needle 24 is improved. Is more preferable. For example, in the case shown in FIG. 11, when the puncture needle search beam is transmitted in the direction indicated by the arrow C, the puncture needle search beam is specularly reflected by the puncture needle 24. Depending on the angle at which is inserted, the reflected ultrasound may deviate from the range that can be acquired by the ultrasound probe 22. In such a case, since the reflected ultrasound from the puncture needle 24 is not received by the ultrasound probe 22, the reflected ultrasound from the puncture needle 24 is used as shown by the broken line portion E in FIG. The received signal cannot be clearly obtained. On the other hand, when the puncture needle search beam is transmitted at an angle perpendicular to the angle at which the puncture needle 24 is inserted as shown by an arrow D in FIG. 11, the puncture needle 24 faces the transmission direction. Since the ultrasonic waves are reflected, many ultrasonic waves reflected from the puncture needle 24 can be received by the ultrasonic probe 22, and a reception signal obtained from the ultrasonic beam reflected by the puncture needle 24 is shown in FIG. ) Clearly appear as indicated by a broken line portion F), and detection of the puncture needle 24 is facilitated.

  Subsequently, as shown in FIG. 7, the control unit 208 stores the received signal obtained from the puncture needle search beam received as described above in the sampling memory 203c and stores the received echo data. When the reception echo data of the puncture needle search beam is acquired (step S202), an edge detection process is executed (step S203).

  In the edge detection process, the control unit 208 extracts a portion where the intensity change of the received signal is greater than or equal to a predetermined magnitude. That is, the control unit 208 applies a differential filter, an edge enhancement filter, or the like to each sampling storage area of the sampling memory 203c, for example, so that the difference in received signal strength between adjacent sampling storage areas is equal to or greater than a predetermined magnitude. A part is extracted as an edge. Thereby, the reception signal of the puncture needle search beam obtained by reflection from the puncture needle 24 can be emphasized.

  Next, the control unit 208 performs Hough transform on the received echo data whose edge has been detected (step S204). Thereby, the parameter (straight line parameter) of the linear part formed by the reception signal of the puncture needle search beam obtained by reflection from the puncture needle 24 can be obtained.

For example, as shown in FIG. 13A, the control unit 208 first represents the received echo data whose edge has been detected in the xy space. Here, the x-axis represents the distance in the azimuth direction, and the y-axis represents the depth. In FIG. 13A, the received signal of the puncture needle search beam is emphasized as indicated by the broken line part G. Next, the control unit 208 performs Hough transform on the received echo data represented in the xy space. Specifically, the control unit 208 converts each point where the received signal appears in the received echo data into a sine curve in the ρθ space. This conversion equation can be expressed as the following equation (1), where the coordinates of a certain point in the xy space are (x 0 , y 0 ).
ρ = x 0 · cos θ + y 0 · sin θ (0 ≦ θ <π) (1)
Then, the control unit 208 votes for the points through which each converted sine curve passes, and plots the result on the ρθ space. For example, when the Hough transform is performed on the received echo data shown in FIG. 13A and the voting results of each sine curve obtained as a result are plotted, the result is as shown in FIG.
Here, if the voting is weighted for each sine curve in accordance with the edge intensity in the received echo data whose edge is detected, the straight line parameter can be obtained more easily.
Next, the control unit 208 extracts the point with the largest number of votes, that is, the point with the maximum number of votes from the vote result obtained as described above, and uses this as a straight line parameter. For example, in FIG. 13B, the point (ρ i , θ i ) indicated by the point M is the maximum number of votes. The point with the maximum number of votes is a straight line parameter. Here, if the maximum number of votes is less than a predetermined threshold, it is determined that the puncture needle 24 is not inserted, and the maximum number of votes is not extracted.

Then, as shown in FIG. 7, the control unit 208 obtains puncture needle echo information from the straight line parameters (ρ i , θ i ) (step S205), and then ends this process. The puncture needle echo information (z) can be obtained by the following equation (2).
z = tan θ i · x + ρ i / cos θ i (2)

  In this embodiment, since the Hough transform is applied to obtain the puncture needle echo information, for example, even when the reception signal having a linear characteristic in the reception echo data is interrupted in the middle, The puncture needle echo information can be acquired as described above.

  Subsequently, as shown in FIG. 6, the control unit 208 determines whether or not the puncture needle 24 is inserted into the subject as a result of executing the puncture needle recognition process (step S102). Specifically, in the puncture needle recognition process, the presence or absence of the puncture needle 24 is determined based on whether or not puncture needle echo information has been acquired. When the control unit 208 determines that the puncture needle 24 is in the subject (step S102: Y), the control unit 208 executes sound velocity analysis processing to acquire the corrected puncture needle echo information and the sound velocity in the subject ( Step S103). Here, the sound speed analysis processing will be described in detail with reference to FIG.

  First, the control unit 208 transmits and receives the sound speed analysis beam as described above (step S301). For example, the sound velocity analysis beam focuses an ultrasonic beam transmitted by a 16-channel transducer 22a. The number of transducers 22a that are driven to transmit the sound velocity analysis beam can be set as appropriate.

  Next, when the received signal obtained from the received sound velocity analysis beam is stored in the sampling memory 203c and the received echo data is acquired, the control unit 208 receives the received signal in a certain area of the received echo data. The signal is set as a profile acquisition range (step S302). That is, the control unit 208 extracts a reception signal included in a predetermined range from a straight line defined by the puncture needle echo information acquired in the puncture needle recognition process described above, and sets this as a profile acquisition range. Specifically, for example, as shown in FIG. 14A, the control unit 208 sets a range having a predetermined width from the straight line H defined by the puncture needle echo information (z) as the profile acquisition range J.

  Subsequently, the control unit 208 acquires a profile from the received signal in the set profile acquisition range (step S303). Specifically, for example, as indicated by K in FIG. 14B, the control unit 208 extracts the maximum intensity of the received signal in the set profile acquisition range for each channel of the transducer 22a. In order to smooth the noise, an LPF (Low-Pass Filter) may be applied to this extraction result to obtain a result as indicated by L in FIG. 14B.

  The control unit 208 specifies the channel of the transducer 22a indicating the peak value from the profile acquired as described above (step S304). For example, according to the example shown in FIG. 14B, the intensity of the received signal of the transducer 22a of the channel “102” shows a peak value.

The control unit 208 calculates the dx value and the dz value shown in FIG. 14C based on the peak value specified as described above (step S305).
The dx value indicates the distance between the position of the received signal indicated by the peak value and the center of the transmission aperture of the sound speed analysis beam. That is, the dx value can be calculated by specifying the channel of the transducer 22a corresponding to the peak value and the channel of the transducer 22a corresponding to the transmission aperture center of the sound velocity analysis beam. For example, as shown in FIG. 14B, the transducer 22a (transmission aperture channel) used for transmitting the ultrasonic wave when transmitting the sound velocity analysis beam has 16 channels “1” to “16”. , The transducer 22a corresponding to the center of the transmission aperture is the channels “8” and “9”. Since the vibrator 22a corresponding to the peak value is the channel “102”, when the pitch of the vibrator 22a is 0.2 mm, for example, the dx value is 0.2 × (102−8.5) = 18. 7 mm.
The dz value indicates the position of the reception signal indicating the peak value and the distance to the ultrasonic probe 22 or the reception timing. The dz value can be obtained from the puncture needle echo information described above.

The control unit 208 corrects the puncture needle echo information based on the dx value and the dz value calculated as described above (step S306). Specifically, the control unit 208 first corrects the θ i value of the linear parameter from the dx value and the dz value. The correction value θ i ′ of the θ i value can be obtained by the following equation (3).
θ i ′ = tan −1 (dx / dz) (3)
Further, the control unit 208 can also obtain the correction value (z ′) of the puncture needle echo information (z) by the following equation (4).
z ′ = z · (dx / dz) (4)

The control unit 208 causes the sound speed calculation unit 203f to function, calculates the correction value of the sound speed in the subject from the θ i ′ value calculated as described above (step S307), and ends this process. The sound speed is used for setting the delay time when performing phasing addition, and the initial set value is 1540 m / s. The sound velocity correction value (c) can be obtained by the following equation (5).
c = 1540 × tan θ i ′ / tan θ i (5)

  In the present embodiment, by obtaining the correction value of the sound velocity, appropriate phasing addition can be performed, and a high-quality ultrasonic image can be acquired.

  Subsequently, as shown in FIG. 6, the control unit 208 executes a geometric transformation process, and acquires the puncture access information described above based on the puncture needle echo information (step S104).

  The puncture access information can be obtained from the puncture needle echo information and the law of ultrasonic reflection.

For example, as shown in FIG. 15, a point P on a function line H indicated by puncture needle echo information based on received echo data obtained by receiving a puncture needle search beam transmitted in a direction perpendicular to the azimuth direction ( Consider the actual position of the puncture needle 24 from x 1 , z 1 ).

The depth z 1 of the point P is reflected from the distance a 1 from the ultrasonic transmission position of the ultrasonic probe 22 to the puncture needle 24 and the reflection point of the ultrasonic puncture needle 24 transmitted from the transmission position. the sum of the distances b 1 to the reception position ultrasonic wave is received, i.e., can be represented by the following formula (6).
z 1 = a 1 + b 1 (6)
The ratio between a 1 and b 1 can be expressed by the following formula (7).
a 1 : b 1 = cos 2θ r : 1 (7)
Here, the angle value θ r indicates the actual insertion angle of the puncture needle 24.

Then, a 1, b 1 and c 1 can be represented by the following formula (8) to (10). Here, c 1 indicates the distance from the transmission position of the ultrasonic wave to the reception position.
a 1 = (z 1 · cos 2θ r ) / (1 + cos 2θ r ) (8)
b 1 = z 1 / (1 + cos 2θ r ) (9)
c 1 = b 1 · sin 2θ r = (z 1 · sin 2θ r ) / (1 + co 2θ r ) (10)

Here, according to the above equation (2) representing the puncture needle echo information, tan θ i is obtained by the following equation (11).
tan θ i = (a + b) / {(a / tan θ r ) + bsin 2θ r }
= {(1 + cos2θ r) tanθ r} / (cos2θ r + tanθ r sin2θ r)
= 2θ r (11)
Therefore, the actual insertion angle θ r of the puncture needle 24 is obtained by the following equation (12).
θ r = sin −1 (tan θ i ) / 2 (12)

Next, z 1 at which x 1 becomes c 1 is obtained by the following equation (13).
z 1 = tan θ i · x 1 + ρ i / cos θ i
= Tan θ i · {z 1 · sin 2θ r / (1 + cos 2θ r )} + ρ i / cos θ i
= {Ρ i / cos θ i } · {(1 + cos 2θ r ) / (1 + cos 2θ r −tan θ i sin 2θ r ) (13)
Therefore, according to the above equations (8) and (13), the distance a 1 from the ultrasonic transmission position of the ultrasonic probe 22 to the puncture needle 24, that is, the actual depth Z of the puncture needle 24 is The following equation (14) can be obtained.
Z = a 1
= (Z 1 · cos 2θ r ) / (1 + cos 2θ r )
= {Ρ i / cos θ i } · {cos 2θ r / (1 + cos 2θ r −tan θ i sin 2θ r )} (14)

For example, as shown in FIG. 16, puncture access information based on received echo data obtained by receiving a puncture needle search beam transmitted toward the predetermined angle θ ′ in the outer direction of the ultrasound probe 22. Think about getting. In this example, the puncture needle echo information (z) is expressed by the following formula (15).
z = tan θ k · x + ρ k / cos θ k (15)

When the puncture needle return information (z) of the coordinates P 2 point on the function straight line H 2 indicated as (x 2, z 2), the depth z 2 of the point P 2, as in the example described above, ultrasonic the distance a 2 from the ultrasonic transmitting position of the ultrasonic probe 22 to the reflection point of the puncture needle 24, the reflecting point of the puncture needle 24, and the distance b 2 to the reception position the ultrasonic waves the reflective receives That is, it can be represented by the following formula (16).
z 2 = a 2 + b 2 (16)
The ratio between a 2 and b 2 can be represented by the following formula (17).
a 2 : b 2 = cos (2θ s −θ ′): cos θ ′ (17)

Then, a 2, b 2 and c 2 can be represented by the following formula (18) to (20). Here, c 2 denotes the distance to the reception position from the transmission position of ultrasonic waves.
a 2 = {z 2 · cos (2θ s −θ ′)} / {cos θ ′ + cos (2θ s −θ ′)} (18)
b 2 = (z 2 · cos θ ′) / {cos θ ′ + cos (2θ s −θ ′)} (19)
c 2 = b 2 · sin (2θ s −θ ′) − a 2 · sin θ ′
= {Z 2 · sin (2θ s −2θ ′)} / {cos θ ′ + cos (2θ s −θ ′)} (20)

Then, according to the above equation (15) representing the puncture needle echo information, the actual insertion angle θ s of the puncture needle 24 is obtained by the following equation (21).
θ s = sin −1 tan θ k / 2 + θ ′ / 2 (21)

Next, determine the z 2 where x 2 is c 2 by the equation (22).
z 2 = tan θ k · x 2 + ρ k / cos θ k
= Tan θ k · {z 2 · sin (2θ s −2θ ′)} / {cos θ ′ + cos (2θ s −θ ′)} + ρ k / cos θ k
= (Ρ k / cosθ k) · [{cosθ' + cos (2θ s -θ')} / {cosθ' + cos (2θ s -θ') -tanθ k sin (2θ s -2θ')}] ··· (22)
Therefore, according to the equation (18) and the formula (22), the actual depth Z 2 of the puncture needle 24 can be determined by the following equation (23).
Z 2 = a 2 cos θ ′ + a 2 sin θ′tan θ s
= {Z 2 · cos (2θ s −θ ′) (cos θ ′ + sin θ ′ tan θ s )} / {cos θ ′ + cos (2θ s −θ ′)}
= (Ρ k / cosθ k) · {cos (2θ s -θ') (cosθ' + sinθ'tanθ s)} / {cosθ' + cos (2θ s -θ') -tanθ k sin (2θ s -2θ') } ... (23)

In the present embodiment, it is possible to generate puncture access information in which the actual insertion angle and depth of the puncture needle 24 are specified as described above. Thereby, the position of the puncture needle 24 can be grasped more accurately from the acquired reception signal.
In this embodiment, the example in which the position of the puncture needle 24 is detected using the received signal obtained by the puncture needle search beam has been described. However, the insertion angle of the puncture needle 24 is shallow, and the scan beam is also used. If the puncture needle echo information is sufficiently obtained, the position of the puncture needle 24 may be detected by applying the above-described Hough transform to the received signal obtained by transmitting and receiving the scanning beam.

When the puncture access information and the sound velocity correction value are obtained as described above, the control unit 208 acquires ultrasonic image data for one frame as follows.
That is, as shown in FIG. 6, the control unit 208 transmits and receives the scanning beam as described above (step S105).

  Next, the control unit 208 sets a delay time for each channel in the phasing addition in accordance with the sound speed corrected as described above (step S106). Note that the phasing addition at the corrected sound speed may not be performed, and the phasing addition at the sound speed approximating the corrected sound speed may be performed. Thereafter, in accordance with the set delay time for each channel, the control unit 208 reads the received signal from the sampling memory 203c, performs phasing addition by the phasing addition unit 203d, and generates sound ray data constituting the biological tissue image data. The image is output to the image processing unit 204 (step S107). At this time, the reception aperture center (first reception aperture center) is at the same position as the transmission aperture center of the scanning beam.

Next, based on the puncture access information, the control unit 208 sets a channel corresponding to the reception aperture center (second reception aperture center) from the transmission aperture center of the scanning beam transmitted in Step S104 (Step S104). S108). That is, the channel corresponding to the second reception aperture center can be specified by applying the puncture access information from the channel corresponding to the transmission aperture center. As a result, for example, as shown in FIG. 17, with respect to the first receiving opening center which is set when generating the sound ray data constituting the tissue image data shown in the figure R 1, the puncture needle image data The second receiving aperture center set when generating the sound ray data that constitutes is the position shifted as indicated by R 2 in the figure. Thereby, it is possible to generate ultrasonic image data in which the position of the puncture needle 24 clearly appears.

  Based on the second reception aperture center set in this way, the control unit 208 reads out the received signal from the sampling memory 203c according to the delay time for each channel set as described above, and uses the phasing addition unit 203d. The phasing addition is performed to generate sound ray data constituting the puncture needle image data, and output to the image processing unit 204 (step S109).

Subsequently, the control unit 208 determines whether or not sound ray data for one frame has been acquired (step S110). When the control unit 208 determines that the sound ray data for one frame has been acquired (step S110: Y), the puncture needle stored in the puncture needle image frame buffer 205a of the image memory unit 205 as described above. The synthesized image data is generated by synthesizing the image data and the biological tissue image data stored in the biological tissue image frame buffer 205b, and is stored in the synthetic image frame buffer 205c (step S111), and this process ends. . As a result, for example, the biological tissue image data shown in FIG. 18 (A) and the puncture needle image data shown in FIG. 18 (B) are synthesized, and composite image data as shown in FIG. 18 (C) is obtained. Generated.
On the other hand, scanning is performed in order to acquire biological tissue image data as shown in FIG. 19A, and further, scanning is performed with the angle of the ultrasonic beam directed toward the puncture needle. It can be seen that the conventional method configured to acquire clear puncture needle image data as shown in B) is inferior in frame rate as compared to the present embodiment. Further, when the biological tissue image data shown in FIG. 19A and the puncture needle image data shown in FIG. 19B are synthesized to generate composite image data, the result is as shown in FIG. 19C. The rendering performance of the puncture needle is inferior.

  On the other hand, when it is not determined in step S111 that sound ray data for one frame has been acquired (step S111: N), the control unit 208 executes the process of step S105.

  In addition, when it is determined in step S102 that the puncture needle 24 is not inside the subject (step S102: N), the control unit 208 performs a scanning process by a normal scanning operation (step S112), and the biological tissue image After the data is generated (step S113), this process is terminated. That is, when the puncture needle 24 is not detected, the puncture needle image data is not generated, and an ultrasonic image based on the biological tissue image data is displayed.

  Next, a puncture image extraction process executed by the control unit 208 of the ultrasonic image diagnostic apparatus 20 will be described with reference to FIG. This puncture image extraction process is, for example, a process that is executed every time ultrasound image data for one frame is generated. In the present embodiment, by this puncture image extraction process, a portion related to insertion of the puncture needle 24 into the subject is extracted from the ultrasonic image data acquired as described above, and this is used as still image data. The image data can be stored in the storage unit 209 as moving image data.

  First, the control unit 208 determines whether or not the generated ultrasonic image data is the above-described composite image data (step S401). When the control unit 208 determines that the generated ultrasonic image data is composite image data (step S401: Y), the control unit 208 determines that the puncture needle 24 is inserted into the subject, and performs the process of step S402. Execute. In step S402, the control unit 208 determines whether or not the ultrasound image data generated in the previous frame is composite image data (step S402). That is, the control unit 208 determines whether or not the puncture needle 24 is continuously inserted into the subject. When the control unit 208 does not determine that the ultrasonic image data generated in the previous frame is composite image data (step S402: N), the control unit 208 determines that the insertion of the puncture needle 24 into the subject has started. Then, generation of puncture moving image data is started (step S403), and this process is terminated. On the other hand, when the control unit 208 determines that the ultrasound image data generated in the previous frame is composite image data (step S402: Y), the control unit 208 determines that generation of puncture moving image data is ongoing. This process is terminated without executing step S403.

  If the control unit 208 does not determine in step S401 that the generated ultrasound image data is composite image data (step S401: N), the control unit 208 determines that the puncture needle 24 is not inserted into the subject. Then, the process of step S404 is executed. In step S404, the control unit 208 determines whether or not the ultrasound image data generated in the previous frame is composite image data (step S404). When the control unit 208 does not determine that the ultrasound image data generated in the previous frame is composite image data (step S404: N), the control unit 208 ends this processing without executing the following processing. On the other hand, when the control unit 208 determines that the ultrasonic image data generated in the previous frame is composite image data (step S404: Y), the control unit 208 determines that the puncture needle 24 has been pulled out from the subject, and performs puncture. The generation of moving image data is finished (step S405).

  Next, the control unit 208 performs a puncture moving image for enabling the composite image data of a plurality of frames acquired from the start to the end of generation of the puncture moving image data to be reproduced as a moving image that can be switched and displayed in time series. An image data file is created (step S406). The puncture moving image data file is generated in a predetermined compression format, and for example, AVI (Audio-Video Interleaved format), MPEG2 (Moving Picture Experts Group 2), or the like is applicable.

  The control unit 208 stores the puncture moving image data file created as described above in the storage unit 209 (step S407).

  Next, the control unit 208 determines whether or not to extract a still image where the puncture needle 24 is at the deepest position from the composite image data included in the puncture moving image data file (step S408). Whether or not the still image where the puncture needle 24 is at the deepest position is extracted is determined based on, for example, whether or not a predetermined operation by the operation input unit 201 has been performed. When the control unit 208 determines to extract a still image in which the puncture needle 24 is at the deepest position (step S408: Y), the control unit 208 determines from the composite image data included in the puncture moving image data file that the puncture needle 24 is at the deepest position. Is extracted (step S409). Specifically, for example, the control unit 208 reads each puncture needle image data corresponding to each composite image data included in the puncture moving image data file from the puncture needle image frame buffer 205a, and quantizes them into binary values. . The control unit 208 develops each binarized puncture needle image data in the xy space. The control unit 208 obtains and compares the distance between the insertion position of the puncture needle 24 and the tip position of the puncture needle 24 from the puncture needle image data developed in the xy space. At this time, as a comparison object, the deepest puncture needle image data can be specified by comparing the integrals on the x-axis, but the lengths of the puncture needles are obtained by trigonometric functions, and these are compared. May be. Further, the result of the Hough transform of the received echo data as described above is held for each frame, and the synthetic image data corresponding to the frame having the largest maximum number of votes is extracted, so that the puncture needle 24 is positioned at the deepest position. The synthesized image data may be extracted. In the present embodiment, the composite image data in which the puncture needle 24 is at the deepest position is extracted from the composite image data acquired from the start to the end of the generation of the puncture moving image data. However, every time ultrasonic image data is generated, if the depth of the puncture needle 24 is greater than the previously obtained composite image data, the puncture needle 24 is held as the composite image data at the deepest position. The composite image data finally held may be stored as a still image where the puncture needle 24 is at the deepest position.

  The control unit 208 stores the composite image data extracted as described above in the storage unit 209 (step S410), and ends this process.

  Further, when the control unit 208 does not determine in step S408 to extract a still image in which the puncture needle 24 is at the deepest position (step S408: N), the composite image data in which the puncture needle 24 is at the deepest position; It is determined whether or not moving image data that can be switched and displayed in time series is generated by extracting composite image data of a plurality of frames with the composite image data generated in a predetermined period before and after that (step S411). Whether to extract a plurality of frames of composite image data of composite image data where the puncture needle 24 is at the deepest position and composite image data generated in a predetermined period before and after that to generate a moving image that can be switched and displayed in time series For example, whether or not a predetermined operation by the operation input unit 201 has been performed is determined. Note that the extraction period of the composite image data can be arbitrarily set.

  The control unit 208 extracts a plurality of frames of composite image data of the composite image data in which the puncture needle 24 is at the deepest position and composite image data generated in a predetermined period before and after the puncture needle 24, and a moving image that can be switched and displayed in time series When it is determined that the image data is to be generated (step S411: Y), the composite image data in which the puncture needle 24 is at the deepest position is extracted as described above, and the composite image data generated in a predetermined period before and after that is extracted. Is extracted (step S412). Then, the control unit 208 creates a deepest puncture moving image data file for enabling reproduction of these synthesized image data as moving images that can be switched and displayed in time series (step S413). The control unit 208 saves the deepest puncture moving image data file created as described above in the storage unit 209 (step S407), and ends this process.

  In step S411, the control unit 208 extracts a plurality of frames of composite image data of the composite image data in which the puncture needle 24 is at the deepest position and composite image data generated in a predetermined period before and after the puncture needle 24, and If it is not determined that moving image data that can be switched and displayed is generated (step S411: N), the processing of steps S412 to S414 is not executed, and this processing ends.

  The deepest puncture image data and the deepest puncture moving image data generated as described above are converted into an image file conforming to the DICOM standard described above and transmitted to the PACS 30 or the like. Here, ultrasonic image data acquired from the start to the end of the ultrasonic image diagnosis may be converted into an image file and transmitted to the PACS 30 and the like together with the latest puncture image data and the latest puncture moving image data. .

  In the present embodiment, the deepest puncture image data and the deepest puncture moving image data are generated as described above, so that it can be stored as a medical record and as an optimal image for use in the implementation of informed consent. It becomes possible to hold.

  As described above, according to the present embodiment, the puncture needle position detection unit 203e detects the position of the puncture needle 24 inserted into the subject from the received signal. The sound speed calculation unit 203f calculates the sound speed in the subject based on a reception signal obtained by receiving the reflected ultrasonic wave reflected by the puncture needle 24 detected by the puncture needle position detection unit 203e by the ultrasonic probe 22. calculate. As a result, the speed of sound can be obtained by detecting the position of the puncture needle, so that the speed of sound can be easily obtained.

  Further, according to the present embodiment, the sound velocity calculation unit 203f has the maximum intensity among the plurality of transducers 22a that have received the reflected ultrasonic waves reflected by the puncture needle 24 detected by the puncture needle position detection unit 203e. The transducer 22a that has received the reflected ultrasound is identified, and the distance and intensity between the identified transducer 22a and the transducer 22a that has output the transmitted ultrasound corresponding to the reflected ultrasound received by the transducer 22a are determined. The speed of sound in the subject is calculated based on the maximum reflected ultrasound reception timing. As a result, the sound speed calculation accuracy is improved.

  Further, according to the present embodiment, the phasing addition unit 203d performs phasing addition on the reception signal obtained from the reflected ultrasonic wave from the subject. The control unit 208 generates image data for displaying an ultrasonic image based on the received signal after the phasing addition. The phasing addition unit 203d changes the center of the reception aperture to the transducer 22a that has received the reflected ultrasonic wave having the maximum intensity among the plurality of transducers 22a identified by the sound velocity calculation unit 203f, and also uses the sound velocity calculation unit 203f. The received signal is phased and added according to the calculated sound speed. The control unit 208 obtains the puncture needle image data in which the puncture needle image, which is the image of the portion of the puncture needle 24 inserted into the subject, is emphasized based on the received signal that has been phased and added by changing the center of the reception opening. Generate. As a result, a puncture needle image with good position accuracy and resolution can be obtained. In addition, transmission / reception of ultrasonic waves for generating puncture needle image data can be reduced, and a decrease in frame rate can be suppressed.

Further, according to the present embodiment, the phasing addition unit 203d makes the reception aperture center the same as the transmission aperture center of the transmission ultrasonic wave transmitted by the ultrasonic probe 22, and calculates by the sound velocity calculation unit 203f. The received signal is phased and added according to the sound speed. The control unit 208 punctures the needle image data to the image data generated based on the reception signal that is phased and added with the center of the reception aperture being the same as the transmission aperture center of the transmission ultrasound transmitted by the ultrasound probe 22. Is synthesized. As a result, the puncture needle image can be clearly represented with high resolution in the biological tissue image represented by the image data.
For example, if an attempt is made to grasp a puncture needle using only biological tissue image data without generating puncture needle image data, the puncture needle does not appear clearly as shown by a broken line portion S1 in FIG. Although it is difficult to visually recognize the image and operate the puncture needle, according to the present embodiment, the puncture needle appears clearly as shown by the broken line portion S2 in FIG. The puncture needle can be accurately operated while visually recognizing the image.

Further, according to the present embodiment, the phasing addition unit 203d performs phasing addition on the reception signal obtained from the reflected ultrasonic wave from the subject. The control unit 208 generates image data for displaying an ultrasonic image based on the received signal after the phasing addition. The control unit 208 performs phasing addition of the received signal according to the sound speed calculated by the sound speed calculation unit 203f. As a result, an appropriate phasing addition according to the medium of the subject can be performed, so that a high-definition ultrasonic image can be acquired.
For example, when phasing addition is performed assuming that the sound speed (for example, 1540 m / s) different from the sound speed (for example, 1472 m / s) of the subject medium is assumed to be the sound speed of the subject medium, FIG. As shown in A) and FIG. 22A, the azimuth resolution of the reflectors U 1 , V 1 , X 1 , Y 1 , Z 1 in the subject is low. Further, as shown in FIG. 21 (A) medium W 1, is not good graininess speckle. Then, as indicated by α 1 in FIG. 22A, an ultrasonic image having a lot of noise in a so-called non-echo portion and inferior in clarity is acquired. On the other hand, when the phasing addition corresponding to the sound speed of the medium of the subject or the sound speed approximate to this (for example, 1475 m / s) is performed as in the present embodiment, FIG. As shown in FIG. 22B, the azimuth resolution of the reflectors U 2 , V 2 , X 2 , Y 2 , and Z 2 in the subject is improved. Further, as shown in the middle W 2 FIG. 21 (B), the graininess of the speckles is improved. Then, as indicated by α 2 in FIG. 22B, noise in a so-called echo-free portion is suppressed, and a high-definition ultrasonic image is acquired.

  The description in the embodiment of the present invention is an example of the medical image management system according to the present invention, and the present invention is not limited to this. The detailed configuration and detailed operation of each functional unit constituting the medical image management system can be changed as appropriate.

  In the present embodiment, the ultrasonic image diagnostic apparatus is configured on the medical image management system. However, the ultrasonic image diagnostic apparatus may not be connected to the network.

  In the present embodiment, the puncture needle echo information is obtained by applying the Hough transform, but the puncture needle echo information may be obtained by other methods. For example, the puncture needle echo information may be acquired by a method such as template matching or luminance analysis.

  In the present embodiment, edge detection is performed on received echo data to perform Hough transform. However, Hough transform may be performed on received echo data without performing edge detection. .

  In the present embodiment, the method for acquiring the puncture access information is not limited to the above-described method, and any method can be used as long as the actual insertion angle and depth of the puncture needle inserted into the subject can be specified. A method may be applied.

  In the present embodiment, puncture needle image data is generated based on the received echo data, and this puncture needle image data and biological tissue image data are combined to generate composite image data. For example, a puncture needle image may be virtually drawn based on puncture needle echo information or puncture access information and synthesized with biological tissue image data. Further, for example, guide display for guiding insertion of a puncture needle may be performed based on puncture needle echo information and puncture access information.

  In the present embodiment, the puncture needle echo information and the puncture access information are acquired and the sound speed is corrected every frame, but may be performed every plural frames.

  In the present embodiment, the puncture moving image data file, the deepest puncture image data, and the deepest puncture moving image data file are generated from the acquired composite image data, but only a part of them is generated. You may do it. Moreover, the structure which does not produce | generate these may be sufficient.

  In the present embodiment, the deepest puncture image data is extracted from the acquired composite image data. However, the composite image data in which the puncture needle is located at a position other than the deepest position is extracted and stored. Also good.

  Further, in the present embodiment, image data in which a puncture needle is inserted into a subject is extracted from the acquired ultrasonic image data, and an image data file is generated from the extracted image data so as to be on a network such as PACS. The image data file may be configured not to be transmitted to an external device on the network.

  In the present embodiment, an example in which a hard disk, a semiconductor nonvolatile memory, or the like is used as a computer-readable medium for the program according to the present invention is disclosed, but the present invention is not limited to this example. As another computer-readable medium, a portable recording medium such as a CD-ROM can be applied. A carrier wave is also used as a medium for providing program data according to the present invention via a communication line.

DESCRIPTION OF SYMBOLS 100 Medical image management system 20 Ultrasound image diagnostic apparatus 21 Ultrasound image diagnostic apparatus main body 22 Ultrasonic probe 22a Vibrator 24 Puncture needle 202 Transmission part 203 Reception part 203c Sampling memory 203d Staging addition part 203e Puncture needle position detection part 203f Sound velocity calculation unit 205 Image memory unit 207 Display unit 208 Control unit (image generation unit)
209 Storage unit 210 Communication unit

Claims (5)

  1. An ultrasonic probe that outputs a transmission ultrasonic wave toward a subject by a drive signal and outputs a reception signal obtained by receiving a reflected ultrasonic wave from the subject is provided, and the ultrasonic probe In an ultrasonic diagnostic imaging apparatus that generates ultrasonic image data for displaying an ultrasonic image based on an output received signal,
    A puncture needle position detector for detecting the position of the puncture needle inserted into the subject from the received signal;
    A sound speed calculation unit for calculating a sound speed in the subject based on a reception signal obtained by receiving the reflected ultrasonic wave reflected by the puncture needle detected by the puncture needle position detection unit by the ultrasonic probe; ,
    An ultrasonic diagnostic imaging apparatus comprising:
  2. The ultrasonic probe outputs a transmission ultrasonic wave toward a subject by a driving signal by a plurality of transducers, and receives a reflected ultrasonic wave from the subject and acquires a reception signal for each transducer. And
    The sound velocity calculation unit specifies a transducer that has received reflected ultrasound having the maximum intensity among the plurality of transducers that have received reflected ultrasound reflected by the puncture needle detected by the puncture needle position detection unit. , Based on the distance between the identified transducer and a transducer that outputs a transmission ultrasonic wave corresponding to the reflected ultrasonic wave received by the transducer, and the reception timing of the reflected ultrasonic wave having the maximum intensity. The ultrasonic diagnostic imaging apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the sound velocity in the specimen is calculated.
  3. A phasing addition unit for phasing and adding a reception signal obtained from the reflected ultrasound from the subject;
    Based on the received signal after the phasing addition, an image generation unit that generates image data for displaying an ultrasonic image;
    With
    The phasing addition unit changes the center of the reception aperture to the transducer that has received the reflected ultrasonic wave having the maximum intensity among the plurality of transducers identified by the sound velocity calculation unit, and is calculated by the sound velocity calculation unit. Performing phasing addition of the received signal according to the sound speed,
    The image generation unit is a puncture needle image data in which a puncture needle image that is an image of a portion of the puncture needle inserted into the subject is emphasized based on a reception signal obtained by changing the phase of the reception opening and performing phasing addition The ultrasonic diagnostic imaging apparatus according to claim 2, wherein:
  4. The phasing addition unit makes the reception aperture center the same as the transmission aperture center of the transmission ultrasonic wave transmitted by the ultrasonic probe, and adjusts the phasing of the reception signal according to the sound velocity calculated by the sound velocity calculation unit. Add,
    The image generation unit is configured to puncture the image data generated based on a reception signal that is phased and added with the center of the reception aperture being the same as the transmission aperture center of the transmission ultrasound transmitted by the ultrasound probe. The ultrasonic diagnostic imaging apparatus according to claim 3, wherein needle image data is synthesized.
  5. A phasing addition unit for phasing and adding a reception signal obtained from the reflected ultrasound from the subject;
    Based on the received signal after the phasing addition, an image generation unit that generates image data for displaying an ultrasonic image;
    With
    The ultrasonic image diagnosis apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the image generation unit performs phasing addition of the reception signal according to the sound speed calculated by the sound speed calculation unit.
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JP2016193020A (en) * 2015-03-31 2016-11-17 セコム株式会社 Ultrasonic sensor
JP2017509429A (en) * 2014-03-31 2017-04-06 ゼネラル・エレクトリック・カンパニイ Ultrasound imaging system and method for tracking specular reflectors

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JP2017509429A (en) * 2014-03-31 2017-04-06 ゼネラル・エレクトリック・カンパニイ Ultrasound imaging system and method for tracking specular reflectors
JP2016193020A (en) * 2015-03-31 2016-11-17 セコム株式会社 Ultrasonic sensor

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