Performance testing of medical echo/Doppler equipment

J. Thijssen, M. van Wijk and M. Cuypers

435 Clinical Physics Laboratory, University Children's Hospital and Children's Heart Centre, P O Box 9101, 6500 HB, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Oct, 2002


This paper describes the methods applied in a software package developed by the authors for use in a performance testing protocol for medical ultrasound equipment. The history of performance testing of medical ultrasound equipment is briefly reviewed. This paper is confined to the testing of performance of usage aspects, i.e. imaging performance and Doppler velocity estimation performance. Simple test objects are used which have a long life expectancy. The tests performed both in fundamental and in (tissue) harmonic modes when applicable are spatial resolution, contrast sensitivity, and clutter. The concept of a computational observer is used to define the lesion signal-to-noise ratio and the tissue-to-clutter ratio. Further imaging performance features are penetration depth, slice thickness and geometric conformity of display. Pulsed Doppler velocity measurement features tested are: sensitivity, depth and 3D size of the sample volume, velocity measurement, channel separation. The whole performance measurement protocol as well as the quantitative measurements in the digitized images are implemented in software, together with the graphs and data obtained from the measurements.