Automated Hierarchical Time Gain Compensation for In Vivo Ultrasound Imaging

Ramin Moshavegh, Martin Christian Hemmsen, Bo Martins, Andreas Hjelm Brandt, Kristoffer Lindskov Hansen, Michael Bachmann Nielsen, Jørgen Arendt Jensen

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Time gain compensation (TGC) is essential to ensure the optimal image quality of the clinical ultrasound scans. When large fluid collections are present within the scan plane, the attenuation distribution is changed drastically and TGC compensation becomes challenging. This paper presents an automated hierarchical TGC (AHTGC) algorithm that accurately adapts to the large attenuation variation between different types of tissues and structures. The algorithm relies on estimates of tissue attenuation, scattering strength, and noise level to gain a more quantitative understanding of the underlying tissue and the ultrasound signal strength. The proposed algorithm was applied to a set of 44 in vivo abdominal movie sequences each containing 15 frames. Matching pairs of in vivo sequences, unprocessed and processed with the proposed AHTGC were visualized side by side and evaluated by two radiologists in terms of image quality. Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to evaluate whether radiologists preferred the processed sequences or the unprocessed data. The results indicate that the average visual analogue scale (VAS) is positive ( p-value: 2.34 × 10−13) and estimated to be 1.01 (95% CI: 0.85; 1.16) favoring the processed data with the proposed AHTGC algorithm.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE
EditorsJohan G. Bosch, Neb Duric
Number of pages9
PublisherSPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication date2015
Article number941904
ISBN (Print)9781628415094
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventSPIE Medical Imaging 2015 - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: 21 Feb 201526 Feb 2015


ConferenceSPIE Medical Imaging 2015
CountryUnited States
CityOrlando, FL
SeriesProceedings of SPIE, the International Society for Optical Engineering

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2015 Society of Photo Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic electronic or print reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.


  • Time gain compensation
  • Attenuation estimation
  • Attenuation variation
  • Signal-to-noise ratio
  • Ultrasound imaging

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