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In International journal of computer assisted radiology and surgery

PURPOSE : This scoping review covers needle visualization and localization techniques in ultrasound, where localization-based approaches mostly aim to compute the needle shaft (and tip) location while potentially enhancing its visibility too.

METHODS : A literature review is conducted on the state-of-the-art techniques, which could be divided into five categories: (1) signal and image processing-based techniques to augment the needle, (2) modifications to the needle and insertion to help with needle-transducer alignment and visibility, (3) changes to ultrasound image formation, (4) motion-based analysis and (5) machine learning.

RESULTS : Advantages, limitations and challenges of representative examples in each of the categories are discussed. Evaluation techniques performed in ex vivo, phantom and in vivo studies are discussed and summarized.

CONCLUSION : Greatest limitation of the majority of the literature is that they rely on original visibility of the needle in the static image. Need for additional/improved apparatus is the greatest limitation toward clinical utility in practice.

SIGNIFICANCE : Ultrasound-guided needle placement is performed in many clinical applications, including biopsies, treatment injections and anesthesia. Despite the wide range and long history of this technique, an ongoing challenge is needle visibility in ultrasound. A robust technique to enhance ultrasonic needle visibility, especially for steeply inserted hand-held needles, and while maintaining clinical utility requirements is needed.

Beigi Parmida, Salcudean Septimiu E, Ng Gary C, Rohling Robert


Image processing, Image-guidance, Machine learning, Needle detection, Needle visualization, Ultrasound