Open Access

Quaternionic Spatiotemporal Filtering for Dense Motion Field Estimation in Ultrasound Imaging

EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20102010:693218

Received: 4 December 2009

Accepted: 21 April 2010

Published: 24 May 2010


Blood motion estimation provides fundamental clinical information to prevent and detect pathologies such as cancer. Ultrasound imaging associated with Doppler methods is often used for blood flow evaluation. However, Doppler methods suffer from shortcomings such as limited spatial resolution and the inability to estimate lateral motion. Numerous methods such as block matching and decorrelation-based techniques have been proposed to overcome these limitations. In this paper, we propose an original method to estimate dense fields of vector velocity from ultrasound image sequences. Our proposal is based on a spatiotemporal approach and considers 2D+t data as a 3D volume. Orientation of the texture within this volume is related to velocity. Thus, we designed a bank of 3D quaternionic filters to estimate local orientation and then calculate local velocities. The method was applied to a large set of experimental and simulated flow sequences with low motion ( 1 mm/s) within small vessels ( 1 mm). Evaluation was conducted with several quantitative criteria such as the normalized mean error or the estimated mean velocity. The results obtained show the good behaviour of our method, characterizing the flows studied.


Ultrasound ImageMotion EstimationLocal OrientationDense FieldBlood Flow Evaluation

Publisher note

To access the full article, please see PDF.

Authors’ Affiliations

Université de Lyon; CREATIS, CNRS, UMR5220; INSERM, U630; Université Lyon 1, INSA-LYON, Villeurbanne, France


© Adrien Marion et al. 2010

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.