Ultrasound-based Sensors to Monitor Physiological Motion


Madore B, Preiswerk F, Bredfeldt JS, Zong S, Cheng C-C. Ultrasound-based Sensors to Monitor Physiological Motion. Med Phys. 2021;48 (7) :3614-22. Copy at http://www.tinyurl.com/yhjpx2sy

Date Published:

2021 May 17


PURPOSE: Medical procedures can be difficult to perform on anatomy that is constantly moving. Respiration displaces internal organs by up to several centimeters with respect to the surface of the body, and patients often have limited ability to hold their breath. Strategies to compensate for motion during diagnostic and therapeutic procedures require reliable information to be available. However, current devices often monitor respiration indirectly, through changes on the outline of the body, and they may be fixed to floors or ceilings, and thus unable to follow a given patient through different locations. Here we show that small ultrasound-based sensors referred to as "organ configuration motion" (OCM) sensors can be fixed to the abdomen and/or chest and provide information-rich, breathing-related signals. METHODS: By design, the proposed sensors are relatively inexpensive. Breathing waveforms were obtained from tissues at varying depths and/or using different sensor placements. Validation was performed against breathing waveforms derived from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and optical tracking signals in five and eight volunteers, respectively. RESULTS: Breathing waveforms from different modalities were scaled so they could be directly compared. Differences between waveforms were expressed in the form of a percentage, as compared to the amplitude of a typical breath. Expressed in this manner, for shallow tissues, OCM-derived waveforms on average differed from MRI and optical tracking results by 13.1% and 15.5%, respectively. CONCLUSION: The present results suggest that the proposed sensors provide measurements that properly characterize breathing states. While OCM-based waveforms from shallow tissues proved similar in terms of information content to those derived from MRI or optical tracking, OCM further captured depth-dependent and position-dependent (i.e., chest and abdomen) information. In time, the richer information content of OCM-based waveforms may enable better respiratory gating to be performed, to allow diagnostic and therapeutic equipment to perform at their best.

Last updated on 08/05/2021