Robust real-time bone surfaces segmentation from ultrasound using a local phase tensor-guided CNN

Puyang Wang, Michael Vives, Vishal M. Patel, Ilker Hacihaliloglu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose: Automatic bone surfaces segmentation is one of the fundamental tasks of ultrasound (US)-guided computer-assisted orthopedic surgery procedures. However, due to various US imaging artifacts, manual operation of the transducer during acquisition, and different machine settings, many existing methods cannot deal with the large variations of the bone surface responses, in the collected data, without manual parameter selection. Even for fully automatic methods, such as deep learning-based methods, the problem of dataset bias causes networks to perform poorly on the US data that are different from the training set. Methods: In this work, an intensity-invariant convolutional neural network (CNN) architecture is proposed for robust segmentation of bone surfaces from US data obtained from two different US machines with varying acquisition settings. The proposed CNN takes US image as input and simultaneously generates two intermediate output images, denoted as local phase tensor (LPT) and global context tensor (GCT), from two branches which are invariant to intensity variations. LPT and GCT are fused to generate the final segmentation map. In the training process, the LPT network branch is supervised by precalculated ground truth without manual annotation. Results: The proposed method is evaluated on 1227 in vivo US scans collected using two US machines, including a portable handheld ultrasound scanner, by scanning various bone surfaces from 28 volunteers. Validation of proposed method on both US machines not only shows statistically significant improvements in cross-machine segmentation of bone surfaces compared to state-of-the-art methods but also achieves a computation time of 30 milliseconds per image, 98.5 % improvement over state-of-the-art. Conclusion: The encouraging results obtained in this initial study suggest that the proposed method is promising enough for further evaluation. Future work will include extensive validation of the method on new US data collected from various machines using different acquisition settings. We will also evaluate the potential of using the segmented bone surfaces as an input to a point set-based registration method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1127-1135
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


  • Bone
  • Deep learning
  • Orthopedics
  • Segmentation
  • Surgery
  • Ultrasound


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