Contrast-Specific Spherical Lesion Phantoms and Ancillary Analysis Software for the Objective Evaluation of Transrectal Ultrasound System Contrast Detectability

Andrea Jane Doyle, Dervil Cody, Silvin Knight, Deirdre M. King, Francis J. Sullivan, Jacinta E. Browne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Brachytherapy is an efficacious treatment option because of its benefits for patient recovery, dose localization and conformity, but these favorable outcomes can be ensured only if the transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) system is optimized for the specific application of ultrasound-guided prostate brachytherapy. The ability to delineate the prostate from surrounding tissue during TRUS-guided prostate brachytherapy is vital for treatment planning, and consequently, so is the contrast resolution. This study describes the development of task-specific contrast-detail phantoms with clinically relevant contrast and spherical target sizes for contrast-detail performance evaluation of TRUS systems used in the brachytherapy procedure. The procedure for objective assessment of the contrast detectability of the TRUS systems is also described; a program was developed in MATLAB (R2017a, The MathWorks, Natick, MA, USA) to quantitatively analyze image quality in terms of the lesion signal-to-noise ratio (LSNR) and validated with representative control test images. The LSNR of the Hitachi EUB-7500A (2013, Hitachi, Ltd, Tokyo, Japan) TRUS system was measured on sagittal and transverse TRUS images of the contrast-detail phantoms described in this work. Results revealed the efficacy of the device as an image quality evaluation tool and the impact of the size, depth and relative contrast of the targets to the surrounding tissue on the contrast detectability of a TRUS system for both transducer arrays. The MATLAB program objectively measured the contrast detectability of the TRUS system and has the potential to determine optimized imaging parameters that could be designed as part of standardization of the imaging protocol used in TRUS-guided prostate brachytherapy for prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1615-1627
Number of pages13
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • Contrast-detail phantom
  • Lesion signal-to-noise ratio
  • Objective image analysis
  • Transrectal ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biophysics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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