Three-dimensional ultrasound imaging. Clinical applications

Ophthalmology. 1998 Feb;105(2):300-6. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(98)93211-0.


Objective: The aim of this report is to describe the technology of three-dimensional (3-D) ultrasonic imaging and its impact on improved diagnosis and monitoring of ocular disease.

Design: The authors reviewed techniques for acquiring and displaying 3-D ultrasound data of the eye.

Participants: The authors applied these techniques to representative individual cases, including a choroidal hemorrhage, a ciliary body melanoma, a ciliary body detachment, a displaced posterior chamber intraocular lens, and topographic analysis of a normal cornea.

Intervention: A computer-controlled motion system was used to perform very high-frequency (VHF) (50-MHz) and conventional (10-MHz) digital 3-D ultrasound data collection. The scanning system allowed digitization of ultrasound data from a series of parallel planes. The 3-D data could be manipulated interactively to obtain two-dimensional images in any plane through the scan volume. The 3-D images were constructed by volume rendering and could be positioned for viewing from a variety of perspectives. The 3-D ultrasound parameter images representing acoustic scatterer properties were generated by spectrum analysis of digitized echo data. Color maps representing the contour and thickness of the epithelium and stroma of the central corneal were generated by digital signal processing of 3-D echo data.

Results: Quantitative volume measurement and biometric techniques enhanced the diagnostic and treatment planning information content in 3-D ultrasound images. The location and extent of hemorrhage and clots within the suprachoroidal space were shown with solid modeling. Volume changes in ciliary body melanoma over time were documented and 3-D ultrasound parameter image changes associated with radiation therapy observed. In ciliary body detachment, the extent of the detachment was shown. Solid modeling of a posterior chamber intraocular lens showed misplacement of the haptic in relation to the lens capsule remnants. Keratopachymetric maps showed the range and variance of thickness and local radius of curvature measurements in the cornea.

Conclusions: Quantitative volume measurement and biometric tools combined with segmentation of 3-D ultrasound images improve diagnostic and treatment planning informational content of 3-D ultrasound images through improved localization of tissue structures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Choroid Hemorrhage / diagnostic imaging
  • Ciliary Body / diagnostic imaging
  • Corneal Topography / methods
  • Eye Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Foreign-Body Migration / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Lenses, Intraocular
  • Melanoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Ultrasonography / methods*
  • Uveal Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Uveal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging