Evaluation of Imaging Parameters of Ultrasound Scanners: Baseline for Future Testing
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Publication date: 2018-02-02
Pol J Radiol, 2017; 82: 773-782
Background: Regular quality control is required in Poland only for those methods of medical imaging which involve the use of ionizing radiation but not for ultrasonography. It is known that the quality of ultrasound images may be affected by the wearing down or malfunctioning of equipment.
Material/Methods: An evaluation of image quality was carried out for 22 ultrasound scanners equipped with 46 transducers. The CIRS Phantom model 040GSE was used. A set of tests was established which could be carried out with the phantom, including: depth of penetration, dead zone, distance measurement accuracy, resolution, uniformity, and visibility of structures.
Results: While the dead zone was 0 mm for 89% of transducers, it was 3 mm for the oldest transducer. The distances measured agreed with the actual distances by 1 mm or less in most cases, with the largest difference of 2.6 mm. The resolution in the axial direction for linear transducers did not exceed 1 mm, but it reached even 5 mm for some of the convex and sector transducers, especially at higher depths and in the lateral direction. For 29% of transducers, some distortions of anechoic structures were observed. Artifacts were detected for several transducers.
Conclusions: The results will serve as a baseline for future testing. Several cases of suboptimal image quality were identified along with differences in performance between similar transducers. The results could be used to decide on the applicability of a given scanner or transducer for a particular kind of examination.
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