Automatic Detection of B-Lines in In Vivo Lung Ultrasound

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This paper proposes an automatic method for accurate detection and visualization of B-lines in ultrasound lung scans, which provides a quantitative measure for the number of B-lines present. All the scans used in this study were acquired using a BK3000 ultrasound scanner (BK Ultrasound, Herlev, Denmark) driving a 5.5-MHz linear transducer (BK Ultrasound). Four healthy subjects and four patients, after major surgery with pulmonary edema, were scanned at four locations on each lung for B-line examination. Eight sequences of 50 frames were acquired for each subject yielding 64 sequences in total. The proposed algorithm was applied to all 3200 in-vivo lung ultrasound images. The results showed that the average number of B-lines was 0.28±0.06 (Mean±Std) in scans belonging to the patients compared to 0.03 ± 0.06 (Mean ± Std) in the healthy subjects. Also, the Mann-Whitney test showed a significant difference between the two groups with the p -value of 0.015, and indicating that the proposed algorithm was able to differentiate between the healthy volunteers and the patients. In conclusion, the method can be used to automatically and to quantitatively characterize the distribution of B-lines for diagnosing pulmonary edema.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)309-317
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019

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