JP3878343B2 - 3D ultrasonic diagnostic equipment - Google Patents

3D ultrasonic diagnostic equipment Download PDF

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Publication number
JP3878343B2
JP3878343B2 JP31136798A JP31136798A JP3878343B2 JP 3878343 B2 JP3878343 B2 JP 3878343B2 JP 31136798 A JP31136798 A JP 31136798A JP 31136798 A JP31136798 A JP 31136798A JP 3878343 B2 JP3878343 B2 JP 3878343B2
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Prior art keywords
dimensional
image
scanning
displayed
display
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JP2000135217A (en
Inventor
洋一 小笠原
新一 橋本
康彦 阿部
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株式会社東芝
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Priority claimed from US09/429,902 external-priority patent/US6245017B1/en
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01SRADIO DIRECTION-FINDING; RADIO NAVIGATION; DETERMINING DISTANCE OR VELOCITY BY USE OF RADIO WAVES; LOCATING OR PRESENCE-DETECTING BY USE OF THE REFLECTION OR RERADIATION OF RADIO WAVES; ANALOGOUS ARRANGEMENTS USING OTHER WAVES
    • G01S15/00Systems using the reflection or reradiation of acoustic waves, e.g. sonar systems
    • G01S15/88Sonar systems specially adapted for specific applications
    • G01S15/89Sonar systems specially adapted for specific applications for mapping or imaging
    • G01S15/8906Short-range imaging systems; Acoustic microscope systems using pulse-echo techniques
    • G01S15/8993Three dimensional imaging systems
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01SRADIO DIRECTION-FINDING; RADIO NAVIGATION; DETERMINING DISTANCE OR VELOCITY BY USE OF RADIO WAVES; LOCATING OR PRESENCE-DETECTING BY USE OF THE REFLECTION OR RERADIATION OF RADIO WAVES; ANALOGOUS ARRANGEMENTS USING OTHER WAVES
    • G01S7/00Details of systems according to groups G01S13/00, G01S15/00, G01S17/00
    • G01S7/52Details of systems according to groups G01S13/00, G01S15/00, G01S17/00 of systems according to group G01S15/00
    • G01S7/52017Details of systems according to groups G01S13/00, G01S15/00, G01S17/00 of systems according to group G01S15/00 particularly adapted to short-range imaging
    • G01S7/52053Display arrangements
    • G01S7/52057Cathode ray tube displays
    • G01S7/52074Composite displays, e.g. split-screen displays; Combination of multiple images or of images and alphanumeric tabular information
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01SRADIO DIRECTION-FINDING; RADIO NAVIGATION; DETERMINING DISTANCE OR VELOCITY BY USE OF RADIO WAVES; LOCATING OR PRESENCE-DETECTING BY USE OF THE REFLECTION OR RERADIATION OF RADIO WAVES; ANALOGOUS ARRANGEMENTS USING OTHER WAVES
    • G01S7/00Details of systems according to groups G01S13/00, G01S15/00, G01S17/00
    • G01S7/52Details of systems according to groups G01S13/00, G01S15/00, G01S17/00 of systems according to group G01S15/00
    • G01S7/52017Details of systems according to groups G01S13/00, G01S15/00, G01S17/00 of systems according to group G01S15/00 particularly adapted to short-range imaging
    • G01S7/52079Constructional features
    • G01S7/52084Constructional features related to particular user interfaces
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01SRADIO DIRECTION-FINDING; RADIO NAVIGATION; DETERMINING DISTANCE OR VELOCITY BY USE OF RADIO WAVES; LOCATING OR PRESENCE-DETECTING BY USE OF THE REFLECTION OR RERADIATION OF RADIO WAVES; ANALOGOUS ARRANGEMENTS USING OTHER WAVES
    • G01S7/00Details of systems according to groups G01S13/00, G01S15/00, G01S17/00
    • G01S7/52Details of systems according to groups G01S13/00, G01S15/00, G01S17/00 of systems according to group G01S15/00
    • G01S7/52017Details of systems according to groups G01S13/00, G01S15/00, G01S17/00 of systems according to group G01S15/00 particularly adapted to short-range imaging
    • G01S7/52085Details related to the ultrasound signal acquisition, e.g. scan sequences
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01SRADIO DIRECTION-FINDING; RADIO NAVIGATION; DETERMINING DISTANCE OR VELOCITY BY USE OF RADIO WAVES; LOCATING OR PRESENCE-DETECTING BY USE OF THE REFLECTION OR RERADIATION OF RADIO WAVES; ANALOGOUS ARRANGEMENTS USING OTHER WAVES
    • G01S7/00Details of systems according to groups G01S13/00, G01S15/00, G01S17/00
    • G01S7/52Details of systems according to groups G01S13/00, G01S15/00, G01S17/00 of systems according to group G01S15/00
    • G01S7/52017Details of systems according to groups G01S13/00, G01S15/00, G01S17/00 of systems according to group G01S15/00 particularly adapted to short-range imaging
    • G01S7/52053Display arrangements
    • G01S7/52057Cathode ray tube displays
    • G01S7/5206Two-dimensional coordinated display of distance and direction; B-scan display
    • G01S7/52063Sector scan display

Description

[0001]
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to a three-dimensional ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus that three-dimensionally visualizes the inside of a subject, and particularly relates to a technique for improving real-time characteristics.
[0002]
[Prior art]
In recent years, using a two-dimensional array type ultrasonic probe or the like, a three-dimensional image inside a subject is scanned with ultrasound (referred to as a three-dimensional scan or volume scan), and a three-dimensional image is obtained. There have been various attempts to display the image, and a system that performs three-dimensional scanning in real time and simultaneously displays a plurality of tomographic images in real time has been announced.
[0003]
In a conventional ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus that displays a two-dimensional tomographic image, it is only necessary to move the ultrasonic wave within the tomographic plane. In order to reproduce the natural movement of the internal tissue while maintaining real-time characteristics, the time required to scan through the three-dimensional region is reduced, and the time resolution (volume rate), that is, three-dimensional per second. It is necessary to improve the number of times of scanning the region to about 30 times per second as in the case of two-dimensional scanning.
[0004]
As is well known, the propagation speed (sound speed) of ultrasonic waves in the human body is almost constant, and scanning is performed per unit time based on the basic system of ultrasonic diagnosis that obtains image information in the human body by scanning ultrasonic waves. The number of ultrasonic scanning lines that can be greatly depends on the physical limit. That is, the time required for one transmission / reception of the ultrasonic wave is absolutely determined by the depth of field and the propagation velocity, so the number of ultrasonic scanning lines per second is almost equal regardless of whether it is two-dimensional or three-dimensional. It is fixed.
[0005]
For this reason, in order to realize real-time three-dimensional scanning, the spatial resolution (density of ultrasonic scanning lines) must be reduced and image quality degradation must be endured. In order to drastically improve the number of ultrasonic scanning lines per second, the use of high-speed means such as multi-directional simultaneous reception known as a digital beam former has been studied. At present, only a few lines are received in a single transmission, and it is impossible to satisfy both the temporal resolution and the spatial resolution in the practical range in the three-dimensional scanning.
[0006]
[Problems to be solved by the invention]
As described above, due to physical limitations due to the sound velocity of ultrasonic waves, when the ultrasonic scanning is expanded from the conventional two-dimensional tomographic plane to the three-dimensional volume region, the density of the ultrasonic scanning lines is compared with the tomographic plane to be displayed. Decreases, and a fundamental problem of image degradation occurs. That is, in ultrasonic diagnosis, a high-quality image has been conventionally required, and it is a big problem that original image information is diluted by performing three-dimensional display.
[0007]
In addition, ultrasonic diagnostic images mainly use a display method that expresses differences in tissue properties with luminance, and it is difficult to display all of this image information three-dimensionally, and an appropriate three-dimensional display method has not been established. There is also.
[0008]
In addition, there is a large demand for simultaneous acquisition of a B-mode image and a blood flow image of an ultrasound diagnostic apparatus, reconstructing each of them as a three-dimensional image, and composite display. However, in order to fully observe the mutual positional relationship and individual three-dimensional shape by three-dimensional display of ultrasound B-mode image and blood flow image, there are few representation means for three-dimensional display. It was not something that could be said.
[0009]
Furthermore, when displaying an ultrasonic image three-dimensionally, the display area of the collected image is small unlike an image diagnostic apparatus such as X-ray CT or MRI, and there are many display shapes due to the scanning method of the ultrasonic probe. The three-dimensional image created by reconstructing the collected image also has a variety of directions and shapes, and there is a problem that the user easily loses the orientation of the displayed three-dimensional image.
[0010]
The present invention has been made in view of the problems of such a conventional real-time three-dimensional ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus.
That is, an object of the present invention is to improve both spatial resolution and temporal resolution in an ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus that displays the inside of a subject three-dimensionally. More specifically, when displaying an ultrasound image three-dimensionally, it is easy for an observer to intuitively recognize the morphological information inside the living body, and to realize high image quality of the display image. It is to display an ultrasonic image in a three-dimensional manner in an easy-to-understand manner, and to make it easier for an observer to recognize the positional relationship of the displayed three-dimensional image. When blood flow images are collected at the same time, reconstructed as a three-dimensional image, and synthesized and displayed, it is to make it easy to grasp the mutual positional relationship and individual three-dimensional shape.
[0011]
[Means for Solving the Problems]
According to a first aspect of the present invention, in a three-dimensional ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus capable of three-dimensionally scanning a three-dimensional region in a subject with ultrasound, any two tomographic planes in the three-dimensionally scanable region are ultrasonically detected. Two-dimensional scanning is performed to generate two images corresponding to the two tomographic planes, and the three-dimensional scannable area is three-dimensionally displayed as a schematic figure, and the two figures are displayed on the schematic figure. The three-dimensional ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus is characterized in that the images are combined and displayed in accordance with the position of each tomographic plane.
According to a second aspect of the present invention, in a three-dimensional ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus capable of scanning a three-dimensional region in a subject with ultrasonic waves, an arbitrary tomographic plane in the three-dimensional region is two-dimensionally scanned with ultrasonic waves, A first display mode for generating and displaying an image corresponding to a tomographic plane; and a three-dimensional image corresponding to the local region obtained by scanning an arbitrary local region in the three-dimensional region three-dimensionally with ultrasound. A second display mode for generating and displaying, and a third display mode for simultaneously displaying the image corresponding to the tomographic plane and the three-dimensional image by combining the first and second display modes. In each of the first and third scanning modes, the three-dimensional region in which the three-dimensional operation can be performed is three-dimensionally displayed as a schematic figure, and the two figures are displayed on the schematic figure. Align images according to the position of each tomographic plane A 3D ultrasound apparatus characterized by synthesizing display Te.
According to a third aspect of the present invention, in a three-dimensional ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus capable of scanning a three-dimensional region in a subject with ultrasonic waves, an arbitrary tomographic plane in the three-dimensional region is two-dimensionally scanned with ultrasonic waves, A first display mode for generating and displaying an image corresponding to a tomographic plane; and a three-dimensional image corresponding to the local region obtained by scanning an arbitrary local region in the three-dimensional region three-dimensionally with ultrasound. A second display mode for generating and displaying, and a third display mode for simultaneously displaying the image corresponding to the tomographic plane and the three-dimensional image by combining the first and second display modes. A three-dimensional image that is selectable and that displays a schematic figure representing the local region and the three-dimensional image in a positional relationship in the second and third scanning modes. This is a sonic diagnostic apparatus.
According to a fourth aspect of the present invention, in a three-dimensional ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus capable of scanning a three-dimensional region in a subject with ultrasonic waves, an arbitrary tomographic plane in the three-dimensional region is two-dimensionally scanned with ultrasonic waves, A first display mode for generating and displaying an image corresponding to a tomographic plane; and a three-dimensional image corresponding to the local region obtained by scanning an arbitrary local region in the three-dimensional region three-dimensionally with ultrasound. A second display mode for generating and displaying, and a third display mode for simultaneously displaying the image corresponding to the tomographic plane and the three-dimensional image by combining the first and second display modes. In the second and third scanning modes, a schematic graphic representing the local area is displayed and a three-dimensional image corresponding to the local area is displayed outside the schematic graphic. A three-dimensional ultrasonic diagnostic device characterized by That.
[0012]
In addition, according to the present invention, only two arbitrary tomographic planes in a three-dimensional region are two-dimensionally scanned with ultrasonic waves, while three-dimensional scanning is limited to a local region, so that a three-dimensional image is obtained. Can be obtained in a more understandable and detailed manner with a high temporal resolution and with a high spatial resolution.
[0013]
In addition, according to the present invention, the three-dimensional scannable area is displayed in a three-dimensional manner as a schematic figure, and two images are aligned with the schematic figure according to the position of each tomographic plane. Since they are combined and displayed, the three-dimensional structural relationship between the two images can be more easily recognized.
[0014]
In addition, according to the present invention, since the scanning frequency of the tomographic plane and the three-dimensional region can be arbitrarily adjusted, the spatial resolution and temporal resolution of the tomographic plane and the three-dimensional image can be optimized.
[0015]
Further, in the present invention, a schematic graphic representing a three-dimensional scannable region and a schematic graphic representing an ultrasonic probe are displayed three-dimensionally with their orientations aligned. It is easy to intuitively grasp the orientation of a 3D image.
[0016]
In addition, according to the present invention, since a local region for performing three-dimensional scanning can be set using a C-mode image, it is possible to improve the time resolution by optimizing the local region to a minimum size. it can.
[0017]
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
Hereinafter, the present invention will be described by way of preferred embodiments with reference to the drawings.
FIG. 1 schematically shows the configuration of the ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus of this embodiment. This apparatus includes an ultrasonic probe 1, an apparatus main body 12, a display 7, and a scanning panel 11. The ultrasonic probe 1 includes a plurality of vibration elements for mutual conversion between an electric signal and an acoustic signal so that a three-dimensional region inside the subject can be electronically scanned at high speed with ultrasonic waves. A two-dimensional array type arranged in a matrix is employed.
[0018]
The apparatus main body 12 includes a transmission / reception unit 2, a digital beamformer switch unit 3, an image processing unit 13, a host CPU 7 (HostCPU) 10, and a display unit (Display Unit) 9. The transmission / reception unit 2 includes a transmission / reception switching switch (T / R SW) 23, a transmitter (Transmitter) 21, and a preamplifier (Pre AMP) 22. The switch 23 connects the transmitter 21 to the ultrasonic probe 1 when transmitting ultrasonic waves, and connects the preamplifier 22 to the ultrasonic probe 1 when receiving echoes.
[0019]
Although not shown, the transmitter 21 includes a clock generator, a frequency divider, a transmission delay circuit, and a pulser. The clock pulse generated by the clock generator is reduced to a rate pulse of about 6 KHz by the frequency divider, for example. A rate pulse is applied to a pulser through a transmission delay circuit to generate a high-frequency voltage pulse to drive a vibration element, that is, mechanically vibrate. The ultrasonic wave thus generated is reflected at the boundary of the acoustic impedance in the subject, returns to the ultrasonic probe 1, and mechanically vibrates the vibration element. Thereby, an electric signal is individually generated in each vibration element. This electric signal is amplified by the preamplifier 22 and then sent to the digital beam former unit 3 to be phased and added. Thereby, a signal (reception signal) having directivity is generated.
[0020]
It should be noted that the time required to scan the entire three-dimensional region inside the subject with ultrasonic waves, that is, the time required for three-dimensional scanning (also referred to as volume scanning) is reduced, and the time resolution, that is, scanning the three-dimensional region per second In order to improve the number of times (volume rate) and promote real-time properties, the ultrasonic beam is intentionally thickened by delay control of voltage pulses applied to each vibration element. In order to generate a plurality (in this case, n) of reception signals having different directivities each time this thick ultrasonic beam is transmitted, that is, in order to realize so-called multidirectional simultaneous reception, a digital beamformer unit 3 is equipped with a plurality (in this case, n) of digital beamformers 311 to 31n, which perform phasing addition with different phase shift patterns.
[0021]
The image processing unit 13 is equipped with four processors 4, 5, 6, and 8 connected to the bus. The application processor 6 mainly has processing functions necessary for display mode and measurement.
In addition, the echo processor 4 generates B-mode image data that provides morphological information of the tissue based on the received signal from the digital beamformer unit 3. In addition, the echo processor 4 extracts a harmonic component (a frequency component that is an integral multiple of the fundamental frequency) included in the received signal, and provides the tissue morphological information more clearly based on the harmonic component. Tissue harmonic image data that can be generated is generated.
[0022]
The Doppler processor 5 is a unit that realizes so-called color flow mapping (CFM). First, a received signal from the digital beamformer unit 3 is detected in quadrature, and a Doppler signal subjected to frequency shift is extracted, and this extraction is performed. Further, only a specific frequency component is passed from the Doppler signal by the MTI filter, the frequency of the passed signal is obtained by the autocorrelator, and the average speed, variance, and power are calculated by the calculation unit from this frequency. It should be noted that by adjusting the pass band of the MTI filter, general CFM image data mainly imaging the tissue and blood flow velocity, and tissue Doppler image data mainly imaging the tissue shape such as the myocardium. It can be generated selectively. The Doppler processor 5 can generate power Doppler image data that visualizes the shape of the tissue and blood flow from the power.
[0023]
A three-dimensional processor (a three-dimensional processor) 8 is a 3D processor as described later from arbitrary image data in the B-mode image data, tissue harmonic image data, CFM image data, tissue Doppler image data, and power Doppler image data. Dimensional image data can be generated.
[0024]
Further, the three-dimensional processor 8 can generate three-dimensional image data as will be described later based on arbitrary image data among the B-mode image data, tissue harmonic image data, and power Doppler image data. ing.
[0025]
Further, the three-dimensional processor 8 can construct a figure, for example, a wire frame model, schematically representing the shape of the three-dimensional region inside the subject that can be three-dimensionally scanned. The three-dimensional processor 8 is necessary to realize various displays as will be described later, such as combining the B-frame image data with the above-described B-mode image data by subjecting the wire frame model to oblique alignment as necessary. Processing can be executed. The image data generated by the three-dimensional processor 8 is displayed on the display 7 via the display unit 9.
(Basic scanning and 3D display screen configuration)
In this embodiment, the basis of the method for three-dimensionally displaying tomographic image data such as B-mode image data is that a three-dimensional scanable region is shown in FIG. 2A of the ultrasonic probe 1. In this manner, the display is schematically performed by a wire frame model with the ultrasonic radiation surface as a base point. Then, as shown in FIG. 2B, any two tomographic planes (A plane, B) that intersect the central axis of the three-dimensional area from the center of the ultrasound probe 1 in the three-dimensional scanable area. The two pieces of tomographic image data obtained by alternately two-dimensionally scanning only the plane) are subjected to an oblique process, synthesized in alignment with the wire frame model and displayed as shown in FIG. In this position alignment, a tomographic image is synthesized and displayed at a position corresponding to a tomographic image obtained by two-dimensional scanning in the wire frame model. In the lower right column of the display screen, two tomographic images to be combined and displayed on the wire frame model are displayed separately as a two-dimensional image on the entire surface.
[0026]
Also, in order to make it easy to understand the positional relationship between the two tomographic planes to be two-dimensionally scanned, and to easily set the two tomographic planes to be two-dimensionally scanned, a three-dimensionally scannable area is displayed in the upper right column of the screen. A guide figure that looks like a bird's eye view from the probe side is displayed. By operating this guide figure with the pointing device of the scanning panel 11, the two tomographic planes can be arbitrarily changed (moved). When the tomographic plane is changed, the driving condition of the probe 1 by the transmission / reception unit 2 is changed, whereby the two-dimensional scanning tomographic plane by the ultrasonic wave is also automatically changed.
[0027]
As described above, according to the present embodiment, only two arbitrary tomographic planes in a three-dimensional scannable region are scanned with ultrasonic waves, so that it is considered with the same time resolution rather than a full scan of a three-dimensional region. The ultrasonic scanning line density can be remarkably improved, and high spatial resolution, that is, high image quality can be obtained. In addition, since two tomographic images corresponding to two intersecting tomographic planes are combined in a form reflecting the actual position, and fitted to a wire frame model that schematically represents a three-dimensional scannable region, it is fitted. Compared to a case where two tomographic images are simply displayed side by side, it is possible to intuitively recognize three-dimensional information such as the form inside the living body. In addition, by manually moving the two tomographic planes, it is possible to understand the morphology of the tissue and the flow of blood flow in a three-dimensional manner.
(Automatic movement of fault plane)
By automatically moving at least one of the two tomographic planes, it is possible to further promote the three-dimensional understanding of the tissue morphology and blood flow. 4 and 5 show examples of this display. In the lower right column of the screen, a menu for setting automatic movement conditions is displayed. On this setting menu, the automatically moving tomographic plane (Scan Plane) is designated as one or both of the A plane and B plane, and the scan type is selectively selected from the scheme a and scheme b. Specify the fault plane movement range (scan Aria), specify the fault plane movement interval (Scan pitch), and specify the fault plane movement speed (Scan speed). It has become. The transmission / reception unit 2 automatically moves the tomographic plane to be two-dimensionally scanned according to the set moving condition, and performs processing so that the tomographic image is moved with respect to the wire frame model by the display unit 10 accordingly.
[0028]
FIG. 4 shows the movement of the tomographic plane by the scanning method “a”. In this method “a”, the tomographic plane automatically rotates about the central axis of the three-dimensional scannable region. ing. FIG. 5 shows the movement of the tomographic plane by the scanning method b. In this mode b, the tomographic plane is automatically moved along a direction substantially orthogonal to the tomographic plane to be moved. It has become.
[0029]
If the tomographic plane is moved automatically in this way, the two tomographic planes passing through the central axis are displayed in real time after the ultrasonic probe 1 is applied to the subject surface, and the automatic movement button is pressed. The ultrasonic two-dimensional scanning tomographic plane moves in the three-dimensional scannable region, and the tomographic image continuously moves in the wire frame model indicating the three-dimensional scannable region. As a moving method, it is possible to select a case of moving in only one direction and a case of reciprocating movement.
[0030]
Next, a specific operation of the ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus according to this embodiment will be described. The ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus according to the present embodiment can selectively operate in three types of scanning modes. In any of these three scanning modes, the display shown in FIG. 3, FIG. 4, or FIG. Hereinafter, these three types of scanning modes will be described in order.
(First scanning mode)
FIG. 6 shows an example of a display screen in the first scanning mode. It can be said that the first scanning mode preferably provides a B-mode image or a CFM image of two orthogonal tomographic planes corresponding to the orthogonal vibration element array of the two-dimensional array type probe 1. This scan is very similar to the case of scanning an orthogonal two tomographic plane using a conventional biplane probe, and corresponds to a scan mode applied to the two-dimensional array probe 1.
[0031]
In this first scanning mode, only the two tomographic planes are two-dimensionally scanned from the three-dimensional scannable region in the subject, so this is not a means for directly obtaining a three-dimensional image in the original sense. However, since the scanning range is smaller (N × 2 scanning lines) than in the case of three-dimensional scanning (N × M scanning lines), it is a limited tomographic plane of two, but it is real-time. It is possible to provide high image quality (high spatial resolution) with high temporal resolution that does not significantly impair the image quality.
[0032]
Therefore, the first scanning mode can be preferably used as a guide for the operator to position the probe with respect to the subject as a means for obtaining a three-dimensional image. An outline of the execution procedure of the operation in this mode will be described below.
[0033]
The operator selects the first scanning mode by a predetermined selection from the operation panel 11. A selection signal from the operation panel 11 is input to the host CPU 10 via the bus. The host CPU 10 outputs a control signal corresponding to the first scanning mode to the transmission / reception unit 2 and the beamformer unit 3 via the bus. Thereby, scanning corresponding to the first scanning mode is performed. Further, the host CPU 10 outputs a control signal for realizing signal processing corresponding to the first scanning mode to the echo processor 4, the Doppler processor 5, the three-dimensional processor 8, and the display unit 9 via the bus.
[0034]
Here, the echo processor 4 generates a tissue-derived ultrasonic image signal (B-mode image base signal) from the received signal, and the Doppler processor 5 derives the blood flow from the received signal obtained in time series on the same position. The ultrasonic image signal (CFM image base signal) is generated. The three-dimensional processor 8 performs an operation for projecting three-dimensional coordinate data on the two-dimensional image on the basis of the position of the probe 1 for each of the following display elements, and performs conversion for displaying the image. .
[0035]
Display elements: wire frame model representing the outer shape of the three-dimensional scanable region, tomographic image of tomographic plane A (B mode image, etc.), tomographic image of tomographic plane B (B mode image, etc.), probe figure (scanning mark) Including)
The probe figure and the wire frame model of the three-dimensional scannable region are converted into a projected image by setting a predetermined expected position for the probe 1. The tomographic image of the tomographic plane A and the tomographic image of the tomographic plane B obtained from the basic signal of the B-mode image or the basic signal of the CFM image are also converted into a projected image using the same expected position. The positions of the tomographic planes A and B are set based on the initial state values of the host CPU 10.
[0036]
When the operator wants to move the tomographic plane, it is realized by updating the initial state value to a predetermined value by a predetermined selection from the operation panel 11. The display unit 9 generates image data by superimposing the plurality of display elements, and an ultrasonic image is displayed on the monitor 7.
[0037]
FIG. 6 is a display example of a typical main scanning mode when the left ventricle of the heart is obtained from the apex. While observing the display as shown in FIG. 6 in real time, the operator searches for a region to be viewed three-dimensionally, moves the probe 1, adjusts the position while lifting, , B can be moved to confirm that the area to be surely covered is covered.
(Second scanning mode)
The second scanning mode is a local region (3D-ROI) that forms part of the three-dimensional scannable region, more specifically, the two-dimensional array type probe 1 set in the first scanning mode is orthogonal. It is a preferable scanning mode to provide a three-dimensional ultrasonic image corresponding to a three-dimensional local region surrounded by a B-mode image or a CFM image having two orthogonal cross sections corresponding to the element arrangement.
[0038]
In the third scanning mode, since three-dimensional scanning (N ′ × M ′ scanning lines) is performed, the first scanning mode (only two tomographic planes are extracted from the three-dimensional space in the subject). The real-time property tends to be lower than (N × 2 scanning lines). However, it is possible to limit the reduction in real-time as much as possible by limiting the area for three-dimensional scanning to a local area of an appropriate size (N ′ <N, 2 <M ′ <M). It is possible to provide three-dimensional information that cannot be obtained in the first scanning mode.
[0039]
Therefore, the third scanning mode is preferably used by switching the scanning mode setting so that the operator can obtain a three-dimensional image after the display in the first scanning mode for positioning guide.
[0040]
An outline of the execution procedure of the operation in the third scanning mode will be described below.
The operator makes a transition to this mode by a predetermined selection from the operation panel 11. The following operation procedure is basically the same as that in the first scanning mode. Here, the three-dimensional processor 8 in the main scanning mode performs an operation for projecting three-dimensional coordinate data on the two-dimensional image with respect to each of the following display elements on the two-dimensional image as an image display. Along with basic processing for converting coordinates and size for image processing, especially for a three-dimensional image, (1) transparency setting for expressing perspective, (2) processing for maximum value projection called MIP (3) Perform generally known three-dimensional image reconstruction processing such as contour extraction pre-processing and volume rendering post-processing.
[0041]
Examples of display elements; a figure such as a wire frame model (3D-ROI) representing an external shape of a local region, a three-dimensional ultrasonic image, a probe figure (including a scanning mark),
The probe figure and the wire frame model of the three-dimensional scannable region may or may not be displayed, but the operation for displaying is the same as in the first scanning mode. A local region figure to be three-dimensionally scanned is converted into a projected image by setting a predetermined prospective position for the probe.
[0042]
A three-dimensional ultrasonic image obtained from a base signal of a B-mode image or a base signal of a CFM image corresponding to the inside of a local region where three-dimensional scanning is performed is also converted into a projected image using the same expected position. These prospective positions are set based on the initial state values of the host CPU 10. When the operator wants to move the expected position, it is realized by updating the value of the initial state to a predetermined value by predetermined control from the operation panel 11. Even when the operator wants to move the position of the region of interest, it is realized by the same operation through a predetermined switch control different from the expected position.
[0043]
FIG. 7 shows a typical display example of the third scanning mode for mitral valve observation when the left ventricle of the heart is obtained from the apex. The three-dimensional image (FIG. 7B) may be displayed inside the 3D-ROI, but may be displayed separately outside the 3D-ROI as shown in FIG. In the case of displaying outside, a figure such as 3D-ROI itself serves as a guide for grasping the orientation, and the position of the cut-out three-dimensional image is easily grasped. Further, even if there is a portion that is hidden and difficult to see at the default expected position with respect to the cut out three-dimensional image, the expected position can be arbitrarily rotated or the image itself can be enlarged by the operation of the three-dimensional processor 8, so improves.
[0044]
The operator records the moving image on a video recording medium such as a video while observing the display as shown in FIG. 7 in real time, or selects a time phase to be viewed and stops the scanning by a freeze operation, and then photographs the still image. It can be recorded on a recording medium such as Since a three-dimensional image can be provided in real time, the diagnostic time and accuracy of a stress echo useful for, for example, examination of ischemic heart disease can be improved. In the conventional stress echo, it is necessary to record a plurality of tomographic images in a short time one after another in order to evaluate the three-dimensional myocardial behavior using only the tomographic images. This is because positioning can be easily performed in the scanning mode, and a three-dimensional image originally desired in the second scanning mode can be recorded in real time.
(Third scanning mode)
The third scanning mode provides a B-mode image or a CFM image having two orthogonal cross sections corresponding to the orthogonal element arrangement of the two-dimensional array probe 1 set in the first scanning mode, and orthogonal 2 It is a preferable scanning mode to provide a three-dimensional ultrasonic image included in a three-dimensional space surrounded by a cross section. The main scanning mode is a combination of the first scanning mode and the second scanning mode. In terms of display, display information of two tomographic images is added to the display of the second scanning mode described above. is there. When this scanning mode is used, the following two usage modes are roughly provided according to the purpose.
[0045]
On the other hand, the operator focuses on the advantage of “high image quality / high frame count” in the first scanning mode, and the operator displays a three-dimensional image after displaying in the first scanning mode as a positioning guide. In order to obtain this, it is preferable to use the scan mode setting while switching to the main scan mode. For example, it is suitable for an application at the time of the first examination in which the operator has no a priori information for positioning.
[0046]
The other is a method of selecting the main scan mode from the beginning without going through the setup of switching the scan mode. For example, when the operator has a priori information on the subject like follow-up observation. Suitable for use.
[0047]
An outline of the execution procedure of the operation in the third scanning mode will be described below.
The operator makes a transition to the third scanning mode by a predetermined selection from the operation panel 11. The following operation procedure is basically the same as in the second scanning mode, and a description thereof will be omitted. Here, the three-dimensional processor 8 in the main scanning mode performs a predetermined process on each of the following display elements.
[0048]
Examples of display elements: a figure (3D-ROI) such as a wireframe model representing the external shape of a local area, a three-dimensional ultrasonic image, a probe figure (including a scanning mark), a wireframe model of a three-dimensional scannable area, A tomographic image of the tomographic plane A, a tomographic image of the tomographic plane B,
A display example of a typical main scanning mode for mitral valve observation when the left ventricle of the heart is obtained from the apex is shown in FIG. In FIG. 8, the three-dimensional image display may be displayed inside the 3D-ROI, but may be displayed outside the 3D-ROI as shown in this figure. When displayed outside, the 3D-ROI itself plays a role as a guide for grasping the orientation, and the position grasp of the cut-out three-dimensional image becomes easy. Further, even if there is a portion that is hidden and difficult to see at the default expected position with respect to the cut out three-dimensional image, the expected position can be arbitrarily rotated or the image itself can be enlarged by the operation of the three-dimensional processor 8, so improves.
[0049]
On the other hand, when the 3D image display is displayed inside the 3D-ROI, the two tomographic images A and B in the back and the 3D image are displayed so as to overlap each other, so that both the tomographic image and the 3D image are displayed. It is preferable to display the images while changing the transparency because they can be observed separately. As an example, the operation of the three-dimensional processor 8 performs normal display on the tomographic image of the portion that does not overlap with the three-dimensional image, and gives the transparency of the weighting α to the tomographic image of the portion that overlaps with the three-dimensional image. A three-dimensional image is displayed with a weighting 1-α transparency. In this way, the tomographic image of the back is displayed through the translucent three-dimensional image even in a portion where both overlap, and the orientation of the tomographic images A, B and the three-dimensional image is compared. It becomes easy to understand. Of course, if not only the transparency setting but also the color map setting of the tomographic image and the color map setting of the three-dimensional image are made different, the effect of separating both of them by the hue is added, so that it can be an effective embodiment. . The color map setting itself can be realized if either the three-dimensional processor 8 or the display unit 9 has the function.
[0050]
Needless to say, the display examples of the image according to the present invention are not limited to the embodiments as described above, and various modifications can be obtained without departing from the scope of the invention.
[0051]
For example, in the third display mode, the display example shown in FIG. 8 presents a B-mode image derived from tissue as a tomographic image, and an image based on a signal derived from tissue (MIP or volume rendering) as a three-dimensional display. However, the tomographic image is a CFM image derived from blood flow, a CFM image including tissue movement information called tissue doppler, or information depending on the non-linearity of tissue propagation called tissue harmonic. B-mode images including The signal that is the basis of the three-dimensional image is also a tomographic image.
[0052]
At this time, it is needless to say that an ultrasonic contrast agent is administered to the subject, and information on the contrast agent component is included in the received signal. This is because the point of the present invention lies in a novel display procedure and display method, and an ultrasonic scanning method related to the display. As another display example of the main scanning mode, a typical display example for the intratumoral blood flow diagnosis of the liver is shown in FIG.
[0053]
However, in the third scanning mode, there are cases where there are more suitable combinations and other combinations of image modes of tomographic images and three-dimensional images due to various constraints and diagnostic purposes. For example, as in the case of diagnosing the heart as shown in FIG. 8, the real-time property is often important in the ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus, and therefore, a combination that increases the number of frames as much as possible is desirable. To obtain a 3D image derived from blood flow, as shown in Attachment 1, in order to provide an appropriate number of frames, the local area size actually scanned in 3D is limited to a small size, or the scanning line density is reduced. It needs to be rough. Here, obtaining a blood flow-derived CFM image even in a tomographic image unnecessarily reduces the number of frames, which is not a preferable combination.
[0054]
In the third scanning mode, it is more preferable that the tomographic image is divided into a role as a guide for attaching the orientation of the three-dimensional image, and the normal B mode is displayed when the real-time property is important.
[0055]
Furthermore, with respect to the scanning sequence of the tomographic image and the three-dimensional image, the scanning ratio between the two display scans in the first scanning mode and the three-dimensional scanning in the second scanning mode can be changed. For example, as shown in FIG. 10 (a), not only a general sequence in which two-dimensional scanning of a tomographic image and three-dimensional scanning of a three-dimensional image are repeated alternately in a time-division manner, but also those who place importance on time resolution. It is also preferable to allocate time by scanning. For example, as shown in FIGS. 10B and 10C, if most of the time is a three-dimensional scan and occasionally (or only when there is a switch control), a tomographic image scan is performed as much as possible. Reduction of the real-time property of the three-dimensional image can be suppressed. Of course, the real-time property of the tomographic image itself is lowered, but it can function sufficiently as a positional guide. Conversely, when the tomographic image is more important than the three-dimensional image, as shown in FIGS. 10D and 10E, most of the time is the tomographic image scanning, and occasionally (or the switch) It is only necessary to perform a three-dimensional scan (when there is control).
[0056]
FIG. 11 is an explanatory diagram relating to a method for setting a local region (3D-ROI) for performing three-dimensional scanning in the second and third scanning modes. Here, a valve disease will be described as an example. In order to observe the shape of the valve in three dimensions, it is necessary that the target valve is included in the 3D-ROI. Therefore, in order to determine the 3D-ROI more easily, for example, a C-mode image at a half position in the depth direction in the 3D-ROI guidewire is separately displayed (the C-mode surface is displayed depending on the purpose. Can be set to any depth within the guidewire). As is well known, the C-mode image is a tomographic image related to a plane (C-mode plane) substantially orthogonal to the ultrasonic beam.
[0057]
If the target valve can be captured in the guide C-mode image plane, that is, the valve can be included in the 3D-ROI guide wire. In this way, if a C-mode plane is set in the 3D-ROI guidewire, and the C-mode image displayed in another area is used as a guide and the 3D-ROI guidewire is moved to the scan area in real time, the C-mode image is captured. The 3D-ROI including the selected valve can be positioned efficiently and reliably. As a result, the ROI setting is facilitated, so that the diagnosis can proceed smoothly.
[0058]
Conversely, a 3D-ROI guide wire may be installed approximately in the region where the valve exists, and the C-mode surface position may be moved manually or automatically in the vertical direction. In this case, when the valve is successfully captured in the C-mode image, the stop position is designated by a switch or the like, and at the same time, the 3D-ROI guide wire is moved in accordance with the C-mode surface.
[0059]
If the 3D-ROI guide wire is set, the C mode surface is newly moved in the vertical direction, the upper limit and the lower limit to be displayed are marked, and the three-dimensional display of only that region is performed. This is effective when it is desired to extract and display only a portion within the region determined by the 3D-ROI guide wire, for example, only the valve here. It is more efficient than simply adjusting the height of the 3D-ROI guide wire while adjusting it repeatedly based on the three-dimensional display image so that the valve region can be well placed.
[0060]
Alternatively, the 3D-ROI may be determined by the following procedure. First, a C-mode image for the entire scan area is displayed. When the target valve is captured and stopped by the SW key or the like, an appropriately sized 3D-ROI guide wire appears in accordance with the C-mode surface. The 3D-ROI guide wire translates in the designated C-mode plane to determine the optimum position, and then determines the lateral spread. The height of the 3D-ROI guide wire is determined so that a desired image can be obtained by the above means, and the 3D-ROI is determined to obtain a three-dimensional display.
[0061]
The C-mode image is not only used as a guide for setting the 3D-ROI, but also displayed simultaneously with the 3D-ROI three-dimensional transmission display (MIP or integral value display). Can be used to observe the movement of the valve in a specific plane at the same time with the C-mode image.
[0062]
Further, the C mode image may display not only B / W display but also color. By using the C-mode color image determined in this way, it is possible to shift to an application such as blood flow measurement as it is.
[0063]
The present invention is not limited to the above-described embodiment, and various modifications can be made.
[0064]
【The invention's effect】
According to the present invention, it is possible to improve both spatial resolution and temporal resolution of a three-dimensional display inside a subject.
[Brief description of the drawings]
FIG. 1 is a diagram showing a configuration of an ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a diagram showing an example of a three-dimensional scannable region.
FIG. 3 is a diagram showing a basic three-dimensional display example of the present embodiment.
FIG. 4 is a diagram showing a three-dimensional display example according to the present embodiment with automatic rotation of a tomographic plane.
FIG. 5 is a diagram showing a three-dimensional display example according to the present embodiment with automatic movement of a tomographic plane.
FIG. 6 is a view showing a display example of a first scanning mode according to the present embodiment.
FIG. 7 is a view showing a display example of a second scanning mode according to the present embodiment.
FIG. 8 is a view showing a display example of a third scanning mode according to the present embodiment.
FIG. 9 is a view showing another display example of the third scanning mode according to the present embodiment.
FIG. 10 is a diagram showing an example of a time-division scanning sequence in the third mode of the present embodiment.
11 is an explanatory diagram of a method of setting a local region of interest for three-dimensional scanning in FIGS. 8 and 9. FIG.
[Explanation of symbols]
1 ... 2D array type ultrasonic probe,
2 ... transmission / reception unit,
3 ... Beam former unit,
4 ... Echo processor,
5 ... Doppler processor,
6 ... Application processor,
7 ... Monitor,
8 ... 3D processor,
9 ... Display unit,
10: Host CPU,
11 ... Control panel,
12 ... the device body,
13: Image processing unit,
21 ... Transmitter,
22 ... Preamp,
23: Transmission / reception selector switch,
31 ... Beam former.

Claims (4)

  1. In a three-dimensional ultrasound diagnostic apparatus capable of three-dimensionally scanning a three-dimensional region in a subject with ultrasound,
    Two images corresponding to the two tomographic planes are generated by two-dimensionally scanning two arbitrary tomographic planes in the three-dimensional scanable region with ultrasound,
    The three-dimensional scannable region is three-dimensionally displayed as a schematic graphic, and the two images are combined and displayed on the schematic graphic according to the position of each tomographic plane. A three-dimensional ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus.
  2. In a three-dimensional ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus capable of scanning a three-dimensional region in a subject with ultrasonic waves,
    A first display mode in which an arbitrary tomographic plane in the three-dimensional area is two-dimensionally scanned with ultrasound to generate and display an image corresponding to the tomographic plane, and an arbitrary local area in the three-dimensional area is displayed. Corresponding to the tomographic plane by combining the second display mode for generating and displaying a three-dimensional image corresponding to the local region by scanning three-dimensionally with ultrasonic waves and the first and second display modes And a third display mode for simultaneously displaying the image to be displayed and the three-dimensional image,
    In each of the first and third scanning modes, the three-dimensional region capable of three-dimensional operation is displayed three-dimensionally as a schematic graphic, and the two images are displayed on the schematic graphic, respectively. A three-dimensional ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus characterized by combining and displaying in accordance with a position of a tomographic plane.
  3. In a three-dimensional ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus capable of scanning a three-dimensional region in a subject with ultrasonic waves,
    A first display mode in which an arbitrary tomographic plane in the three-dimensional area is two-dimensionally scanned with ultrasound to generate and display an image corresponding to the tomographic plane, and an arbitrary local area in the three-dimensional area is displayed. Corresponding to the tomographic plane by combining the second display mode for generating and displaying a three-dimensional image corresponding to the local region by scanning three-dimensionally with ultrasonic waves and the first and second display modes And a third display mode for simultaneously displaying the image to be displayed and the three-dimensional image,
    In the second and third scanning modes, a three-dimensional ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus characterized in that a schematic figure representing the local region and the three-dimensional image are displayed in a positional association.
  4. In a three-dimensional ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus capable of scanning a three-dimensional region in a subject with ultrasonic waves,
    A first display mode in which an arbitrary tomographic plane in the three-dimensional area is two-dimensionally scanned with ultrasound to generate and display an image corresponding to the tomographic plane, and an arbitrary local area in the three-dimensional area is displayed. Corresponding to the tomographic plane by combining the second display mode for generating and displaying a three-dimensional image corresponding to the local region by scanning three-dimensionally with ultrasonic waves and the first and second display modes And a third display mode for simultaneously displaying the image to be displayed and the three-dimensional image,
    In the second and third scanning modes, a schematic graphic representing the local region is displayed, and a three-dimensional image corresponding to the local region is displayed outside the schematic graphic. 3D ultrasonic diagnostic equipment.
JP31136798A 1998-10-30 1998-10-30 3D ultrasonic diagnostic equipment Expired - Fee Related JP3878343B2 (en)

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