Automatic tracking of aponeuroses and estimation of muscle thickness in ultrasonography: A feasibility study

Shan Ling, Yongjin Zhou, Ye Chen, Yu Qian Zhao, Lei Wang, Yongping Zheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Muscle thickness measurement in ultrasonography was traditionally conducted by a trained operator, and the manual detecting process is time consuming and subjective. In this paper, we proposed an automatic tracking strategy to achieve the continuous and quantitative measurement for gastrocnemius muscle thickness in ultrasound images. The method involved three steps: tracking of seed points, contours extraction of aponeuroses, and muscle thickness estimation. In an ultrasound image sequence, we first selected two seed points in the first frame manually for the superficial and deep aponeuroses, respectively. Seed points in all following frames were then tracked by registering to their respective previous frames. Second, we adopted the local and global intensity fitting model to extract the contours of aponeuroses. At last, the muscle thickness was achieved by calculating the distance between the contours of superficial and deep aponeuroses. The performance of the algorithm was evaluated using 500 frames of ultrasound images. It was demonstrated in the experiments that the proposed methods could be used for objective tracking of aponeuroses and estimation of muscle thickness in musculoskeletal ultrasound images.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6484090
Pages (from-to)1031-1038
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2013


  • Active contour
  • Free-form deformation tracking
  • Image registration
  • Muscle thickness
  • Sonomyography (SMG)
  • Ultrasound imaging/ultrasonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Medicine(all)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Health Information Management
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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