Automating Spine Curvature Measurement in Volumetric Ultrasound via Adaptive Phase Features

Guang Quan Zhou, Dong Sheng Li, Ping Zhou, Wei Wei Jiang, Yong Ping Zheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Ultrasound volume projection imaging (VPI) has been recently suggested. This novel imaging method allows a non-radiation assessment of spine deformity with free-hand 3-D ultrasound imaging. This paper presents a fully automatic method to evaluate the spine curve in VPI images corresponding to different projection depth of the volumetric ultrasound, thus making it possible to analyze 3-D spine deformity. The new automatic method is based on prior knowledge about the geometric arrangement of the spinous processes. The frequency bandwidth of log-Gabor filters is adaptively adjusted to calculate the oriented phase congruency, facilitating the segmentation of the spinous column profile. And the spine curvature angle is finally calculated according to the inflection points of the curve over the segmented spinous column profile. The performance of the automatic method is evaluated on spine VPI images among patients with different scoliotic angles. The curvature angles obtained using the proposed method have a high linear correlation with those by the manual method (r = 0.90, p < 0.001) and X-ray Cobb's method (r = 0.87, p < 0.001). The feasibility of 3-D spine deformity assessment is also demonstrated using VPI images corresponding to various projection depth. The results suggest that this method can substantially improve the recognition of the spinous column profile, especially facilitating the applications of 3-D spine deformity assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)828-841
Number of pages14
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • 3-D ultrasound
  • Adaptive log-Gabor wavelet
  • Cobb angle
  • Oriented phase congruency
  • Scoliosis
  • Volume projection imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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