Deep learning based ultrasonic visualization of distal humeral cartilage for image-guided therapy: a pilot validation study

Wei Zhao, Xiuyun Su, Yao Guo, Haojin Li, Shiva Basnet, Jianyu Chen, Zide Yang, Rihang Zhong, Jiang Liu, Elvis Chun Sing Chui, Guoxian Pei, Heng Li

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review


Background: Ultrasound is widely used for image-guided therapy (IGT) in many surgical fields, thanks to its various advantages, such as portability, lack of radiation and real-time imaging. This article presents the first attempt to utilize multiple deep learning algorithms in distal humeral cartilage segmentation for dynamic, volumetric ultrasound images employed in minimally invasive surgery. Methods: The dataset, consisting 5,321 ultrasound images were collected from 12 healthy volunteers. These images were randomly split into training and validation sets in an 8:2 ratio. Based on deep learning algorithms, 9 semantic segmentation networks were developed and trained using our dataset at Southern University of Science and Technology Hospital in September 2022. The performance of the networks was evaluated based on their segmenting accuracy and processing efficiency. Furthermore, these networks were implemented in an IGT system to assess their feasibility in 3-dimentional imaging precision. Results: In 2D segmentation, Medical Transformer (MedT) showed the highest accuracy result with a Dice score of 89.4%, however, the efficiency in processing images was relatively lower at 2.6 frames per second (FPS). In 3D imaging, the average root mean square (RMS) between ultrasound (US)-generated models based on the networks and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-generated models was no more than 1.12 mm. Conclusions: The findings of this study indicate the technological feasibility of a novel method for real-time visualization of distal humeral cartilage. The increased precision of ultrasound calibration and segmentation are both important approaches to improve the accuracy of 3D imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5306-5320
Number of pages15
JournalQuantitative Imaging in Medicine and Surgery
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Deep learning
  • distal humeral cartilage
  • image-guided therapy (IGT)
  • minimally invasive surgery
  • ultrasound visualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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