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In this paper, we propose an interpolation-based method for simulating rigid needles in B-mode ultrasound images in real time. We parameterize the needle B-mode image as a function of needle position and orientation. We collect needle images under various spatial configurations in a water-tank using a needle guidance robot. Then we use multidimensional tensor-product interpolation to simulate images of needles with arbitrary poses and positions using collected images. After further processing, the interpolated needle and seed images are superimposed on top of phantom or tissue image backgrounds. The similarity between the simulated and the real images is measured using a correlation metric. A comparison is also performed with in vivo images obtained during prostate brachytherapy. Our results, carried out for both the convex (transverse plane) and linear (sagittal/para-sagittal plane) arrays of a trans-rectal transducer indicate that our interpolation method produces good results while requiring modest computing resources. The needle simulation method we present can be extended to the simulation of ultrasound images of other wire-like objects. In particular, we have shown that the proposed approach can be used to simulate brachytherapy seeds.
Date of Publication: July 2011