Machine-learning-based automatic identification of fetal abdominal circumference from ultrasound images

Bukweon Kim, Kang Cheol Kim, Yejin Park, Ja Young Kwon, Jaeseong Jang, Jin Keun Seo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Obstetricians mainly use ultrasound imaging for fetal biometric measurements. However, such measurements are cumbersome. Hence, there is urgent need for automatic biometric estimation. Automated analysis of ultrasound images is complicated owing to the patient-specific, operator-dependent, and machine-specific characteristics of such images. Approach: This paper proposes a method for the automatic fetal biometry estimation from 2D ultrasound data through several processes consisting of a specially designed convolutional neural network (CNN) and U-Net for each process. These machine learning techniques take clinicians' decisions, anatomical structures, and the characteristics of ultrasound images into account. The proposed method is divided into three steps: initial abdominal circumference (AC) estimation, AC measurement, and plane acceptance checking. Main results: A CNN is used to classify ultrasound images (stomach bubble, amniotic fluid, and umbilical vein), and a Hough transform is used to obtain an initial estimate of the AC. These data are applied to other CNNs to estimate the spine position and bone regions. Then, the obtained information is used to determine the final AC. After determining the AC, a U-Net and a classification CNN are used to check whether the image is suitable for AC measurement. Finally, the efficacy of the proposed method is validated by clinical data. Significance: Our method achieved a Dice similarity metric of for AC measurement and an accuracy of 87.10% for our acceptance check of the fetal abdominal standard plane.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105007
JournalPhysiological measurement
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Oct 22

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Physiology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physiology (medical)


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