Date Published:2015 Feb 21
INTRODUCTION: Ultrasound-guided interventions often necessitate scanning of deep-seated anatomical structures that may be hard to visualize. Visualization can be improved using reconstructed 3D ultrasound volumes. High-resolution 3D reconstruction of a large area during clinical interventions is challenging if the region of interest is unknown. We propose a two-stage scanning method allowing the user to perform quick low-resolution scouting followed by high-resolution live volume reconstruction. METHODS: Scout scanning is accomplished by stacking 2D tracked ultrasound images into a low-resolution volume. Then, within a region of interest defined in the scout scan, live volume reconstruction can be performed by continuous scanning until sufficient image density is achieved. We implemented the workflow as a module of the open-source 3D Slicer application, within the SlicerIGT extension and building on the PLUS toolkit. RESULTS: Scout scanning is performed in a few seconds using 3 mm spacing to allow region of interest definition. Live reconstruction parameters are set to provide good image quality (0.5 mm spacing, hole filling enabled) and feedback is given during live scanning by regularly updated display of the reconstructed volume. DISCUSSION: Use of scout scanning may allow the physician to identify anatomical structures. Subsequent live volume reconstruction in a region of interest may assist in procedures such as targeting needle interventions or estimating brain shift during surgery.