Multiview fusion 3-D echocardiography: improving the information and quality of real-time 3-D echocardiography

Rajpoot K, Grau V, Noble JA, Szmigielski C, Becher H

Ultrasound Med Biol 2011 Jul;37(7):1056-72

PMID: 21684452

Abstract

The advent of real-time 3-D echocardiography (RT3DE) promised dynamic 3-D image acquisition with the potential of a more objective and complete functional analysis. In spite of that, 2-D echocardiography remains the backbone of echocardiography imaging in current clinical practice, with RT3DE mainly used for clinical research. The uptake of RT3DE has been slow because of missing anatomic information, limited field-of-view (FOV) and tedious analysis procedures. This paper presents multiview fusion 3D echocardiography, where multiple images with complementary information are acquired from different probe positions. These multiple images are subsequently aligned and fused together for preserving salient structures in a single, multiview fused image. A novel and simple wavelet-based fusion algorithm is proposed that exploits the low- and high-frequency separation capability of the wavelet analysis. The results obtained show that the proposed multiview fusion considerably improves the contrast (31.1%), contrast-to-noise ratio (46.7%), signal-to-noise ratio (44.7%) and anatomic features (12%) in 3-D echocardiography, and enlarges the FOV (28.2%). This indicates that multiview fusion substantially enhances the image quality and information.