Estimation of bladder wall location in ultrasound images

Research paper by A. K. Topper, M. E. Jernigan

Indexed on: 01 May '91Published on: 01 May '91Published in: Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing


A method of automatically estimating the location of the bladder wall in ultrasound images is proposed. Obtaining this estimate is intended to be the first stage in the development of an automatic bladder volume calculation system. The first step in the bladder wall estimation scheme involves globally processing the images using standard image processing techniques to highlight the bladder wall. Separate processing sequences are required to highlight the anterior bladder wall and the posterior bladder wall. The sequence to highlight the anterior bladder wall involves Gaussian smoothing and second differencing followed by zero-crossing detection. Median filtering followed by thresholding and gradient detection is used to highlight as much of the rest of the bladder wall as was visible in the original images. Then a ‘bladder wall follower’—a line follower with rules based on the characteristics of ultrasound imaging and the anatomy involved—is applied to the processed images to estimate the bladder wall location by following the portions of the bladder wall which are highlighted and filling in the missing segments. The results achieved using this scheme are presented.