The maximum Ultrasound (US) Depth of Penetration (DoP) is one of the most important parameters related to medical US systems sensitivity. DoP is also suitable for characterizing those systems since it is usually measured in routine quality controls (QC) of ultrasound scanners. In common practice, DoP assessment is carried on visually and may be affected by various external factors, such as the operator related errors. To minimize these errors, image analysis algorithms have been proposed even if without a complete performance assessment. In the present work, a novel method for the automatic determination of DoP and its measurement uncertainty is proposed: it is based on the Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) estimation, evaluated from a US phantom and in-air clips, and has been applied on a diagnostic system equipped with three different US probes (vector, convex and linear array) with similar general settings. The results have been compared with the outcomes of both a different automatic approach (already proposed in literature) and a standard procedure based on the scores provided by 5 independent observers. Despite a good agreement has been found among them, the novel method proposed requires both lower acquisition and computational time as well as a lower computational cost, confirming the convenience of an in-depth study on the topic in the next future.
Fiori, G., Fuiano, F., Vurchio, F., Scorza, A., Schmid, M., Conforto, S., et al. (2020). A preliminary study on a novel method for depth of penetration measurement in ultrasound quality assessment. In 24th IMEKO TC4 International Symposium and 22nd International Workshop on ADC and DAC Modelling and Testing (pp.332-336). International Measurement Confederation (IMEKO).