An adaptive filter to approximate the bayesian strategy for sonographic beamforming

Nghia Q. Nguyen, Craig K. Abbey, Michael F. Insana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A first-principles task-based approach to the design of medical ultrasonic imaging systems for breast lesion discrimination is described. This study explores a new approximation to the ideal Bayesian observer strategy that allows for object heterogeneity. The new method, called iterative Wiener filtering, is implemented using echo data simulations and a phantom study. We studied five lesion features closely associated with visual discrimination for clinical diagnosis. A series of human observer measurements for the same image data allowed us to quantitatively compare alternative beamforming strategies through measurements of visual discrimination efficiency. Employing the SmithWagner model observer, we were able to breakdown efficiency estimates and identify the processing stage at which performance losses occur. The methods were implemented using a commercial scanner and a cyst phantom to explore development of spatial filters for systems with shift-variant impulse response functions. Overall we found that significant improvements were realized over standard B-mode images using a delay-and-sum beamformer but at the cost of higher complexity and computational load.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5512633
Pages (from-to)28-37
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE transactions on medical imaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • Breast sonography
  • ideal observer
  • image quality
  • iterative Wiener filter
  • task-based design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Software


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