2D ultrasound imaging based intra-fraction respiratory motion tracking for abdominal radiation therapy using machine learning

Pu Huang, Lin Su, Shuyang Chen, Kunlin Cao, Qi Song, Peter Kazanzides, Iulian Iordachita, Muyinatu A. Lediju Bell, John Wong, Dengwang Li, Kai Ding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We have previously developed a robotic ultrasound imaging system for motion monitoring in abdominal radiation therapy. Owing to the slow speed of ultrasound image processing, our previous system could only track abdominal motions under breath-hold. To overcome this limitation, a novel 2D-based image processing method for tracking intra-fraction respiratory motion is proposed. Fifty-seven different anatomical features acquired from 27 sets of 2D ultrasound sequences were used in this study. Three 2D ultrasound sequences were acquired with the robotic ultrasound system from three healthy volunteers. The remaining datasets were provided by the 2015 MICCAI Challenge on Liver Ultrasound Tracking. All datasets were preprocessed to extract the feature point, and a patient-specific motion pattern was extracted by principal component analysis and slow feature analysis (SFA). The tracking finds the most similar frame (or indexed frame) by a k-dimensional-tree-based nearest neighbor search for estimating the tracked object location. A template image was updated dynamically through the indexed frame to perform a fast template matching (TM) within a learned smaller search region on the incoming frame. The mean tracking error between manually annotated landmarks and the location extracted from the indexed training frame is 1.80 ± 1.42 mm. Adding a fast TM procedure within a small search region reduces the mean tracking error to 1.14 ± 1.16 mm. The tracking time per frame is 15 ms, which is well below the frame acquisition time. Furthermore, the anatomical reproducibility was measured by analyzing the location's anatomical landmark relative to the probe; the position-controlled probe has better reproducibility and yields a smaller mean error across all three volunteer cases, compared to the force-controlled probe (2.69 versus 11.20 mm in the superior-inferior direction and 1.19 versus 8.21 mm in the anterior-posterior direction). Our method reduces the processing time for tracking respiratory motion significantly, which can reduce the delivery uncertainty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number185006
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 11 2019


  • principal component analysis
  • slow feature analysis
  • template matching
  • tracking
  • ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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