Movement of Three-Dimensional Ultrasound -A Report from AIUM's 36th Annual Convention-
The University of Tokyo, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Medical Electronics
Three-dimension, Ultrasound, Image processing, Computer
The 36th annual convention of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) was held at the San Diego convention center in San Diego, California, March 8-11, 1992. This is a report focused mainly on three-dimensional (3-D) ultrasound, which is becoming a hot topic in Japan. The State-of-the-Art OB/GYN Imaging Course was held at the same convention center on March 7-8, 1992. In the last session, "Future Directions", the potential benefits of 3-D ultrasound to perinatal imaging were emphasized. Seven papers on 3-D ultrasound were presented during the convention. Volume rendered images of the organ (the eye and the prostate) and 3-D color flow images of vessels were presented. Among these presentations, the paper presented on two dimensional array ultrasound transducer was outstanding. This new type of volumetric phased array probe achieves real-time 3-D data acquisition. In commercial exhibits, four companies displayed the word "3-D" in their booths and were attracting attention. Three types of probe specifically designed for 3-D were demonstrated. Each has a real-time probe swinging in it mechanically. The most attractive 3-D ultrasound system was one which used the "transparent method". Although the image must move on the screen to obtain a spatial image by this method, this system demonstrated good 3-D images of the internal structure of the fetus, liver, etc. It takes time for most 3-D systems to calculate the 3-D images, however, a high power computer was demonstrated to capture 3-D images from tomographic images within one to one and half seconds. This convention proved that 3-D ultrasound has attracted great interest, and that real-time 3-D ultrasound is a practical reality for the very near future.