Automatic Measurement of Spine Curvature on 3-D Ultrasound Volume Projection Image with Phase Features

Guang Quan Zhou, Wei Wei Jiang, Ka Lee Lai, Yongping Zheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents an automated measurement of spine curvature by using prior knowledge on vertebral anatomical structures in ultrasound volume projection imaging (VPI). This method can be used in scoliosis assessment with free-hand 3-D ultrasound imaging. It is based on the extraction of bony features from VPI images using a newly proposed two-fold thresholding strategy, with information of the symmetric and asymmetric measures obtained from phase congruency. The spinous column profile is detected from the segmented bony regions, and it is further used to extract a curve representing spine profile. The spine curvature is then automatically calculated according to the inflection points along the curve. The algorithm was evaluated on volunteers with the different severity of scoliosis. The results obtained using the newly developed method had a good linear correlation with those by the manual method (r \ge 0.90, p < 0.001 and X-ray Cobb's method (r =0.83, p < 0.001). The bigger variations observed in the manual measurement also implied that the automatic method is more reliable. The proposed method can be a promising approach for facilitating the applications of 3-D ultrasound imaging in the diagnosis, treatment, and screening of scoliosis.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7864407
Pages (from-to)1250-1262
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017


  • 3-D ultrasound
  • Cobb angle
  • phase congruency
  • Scoliosis
  • thresholding
  • volume projection imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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