3D Ultrasound images are doing things that leave people in awe of their capabilities. Especially when it comes to seeing an unborn kid’s movement. It’s one thing to feel and see your baby is kicking, but it’s a whole other great thing to see it waving, stretching, yawning even before the baby is born! This is seriously one of the greatest wonders of science. And today we will tell you how 3D ultrasound images are created and their usefulness.
3D ultrasound is much like a 2D ultrasound, but better. 3D Ultrasound is used most commonly in fetal, cardiac, trans-rectal, and intra-vascular processes. Traditional 2D ultrasound images had one problem, it didn’t show anatomy, so the doctors had to use their imagination and as you can imagine it could be fatal since we are talking about human life. 3D images have eradicated this problem forever. With 3D images, the doctors don’t have to imagine things. They can just plainly see what’s going on and where.
When using 2D, the diagnostic accuracy depended a lot on the experience and knowledge of the doctors but the 3D images provide them with a wide-angled view of the region of interest and it’s clear. 3D has made the process faster and easier for doctors.
How 3D Ultrasound Images Are Created
3D ultrasound images are created in 3 steps: acquisition, reconstruction, and visualization. In the acquisition stage, B-scans or brightness scans are collected using conventional 2D probes or directly 3D images are collected using a 3D probe. In the reconstruction stage, the images are sent into a predefined regular volume grid. Last, in the visualization stage, those images are rendered in the built voxel array in a certain manner like any-plane slicing, surface rendering, volume rendering.
Although the 3D images are great to see as they are displayed in great detail, this whole process is a bit lengthy as the doctors have to wait a few minutes for the reconstruction and visualization to be done properly. Research is going on to make the process faster, enabling the doctors to have a 3D view in real-time.
How 3D Ultrasound Data Are Collected
There are 4 ways to collect 3D ultrasound data. The first one is, freehand where a probe is used to capture the series of data by tilting the probe in many directions. The second one is a mechanical localizer where the internal mechanical probe is handled by a motor inside of the probe.
The third one is done using an endo probe where the data is generated by inserting the probe and then removing it in a controlled manner. The fourth and the last one is called the matrix array transducer which makes a pyramid-shaped volume by using beam steering.
3D multipurpose ultrasound imaging system are very detailed and leave nothing to the imagination, making the work safer and faster for the doctors and the patients. Although it takes some time the result is accurate. We hope that real-time 3D imaging technology is not too far away from the future.