A methodical quantification of needle visibility and echogenicity in ultrasound images

Nick J. van de Berg*, Juan A. Sánchez-Margallo, Arjan P. van Dijke, Thomas Langø, John J. van den Dobbelsteen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
262 Downloads (Pure)


During ultrasound-guided percutaneous interventions, needle localization can be a challenge. To increase needle visibility, enhancements of both the imaging methods and the needle surface properties have been investigated. However, a methodical approach to compare potential solutions is currently unavailable. The work described here involves automated image acquisition, analysis and reporting techniques to collect large amounts of data efficiently, delineate relevant factors and communicate effects. Data processing included filtering, line fitting and image intensity analysis steps. Foreground and background image samples were used to compute a contrast-to-noise ratio or a signal ratio. The approach was evaluated in a comparative study of commercially available and custom-made needles. Varied parameters included needle material, diameter and surface roughness. The shafts with kerfed patterns and the trocar and chiba tips performed best. The approach enabled an intuitive polar depiction of needle visibility in ultrasound images for a large range of insertion angles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)998-1009
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Contrast-to-noise ratio
  • Echogenicity
  • Experimental methods
  • High-echoic range
  • Needle interventions
  • Polyvinyl alcohol
  • Signal ratio
  • Ultrasound
  • Visibility


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