Line detection as an inverse problem: application to lung ultrasound imaging

N Anantrasirichai, Wesley Hayes, Marco Allinovi, David Bull, Alin Achim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
304 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents a novel method for line restoration in speckle images. We address this as a sparse estimation problem using both convex and non-convex optimisation techniques based on the Radon transform and sparsity regularisation. This breaks into subproblems which are solved using the alternating direction method of multipliers (ADMM), thereby achieving line detection and deconvolution simultaneously. We include an additional deblurring step in the Radon domain via a total variation blind deconvolution to enhance line visualisation and to improve line recognition. We evaluate our approach on a real clinical application: the identification of B-lines in lung ultrasound images. Thus, an automatic B-line identification method is proposed, using a simple local maxima technique in the Radon transform domain, associated with known clinical definitions of line artefacts. Using all initially detected lines as a starting point, our approach then differentiates between B-lines and other lines of no clinical significance, including Z-lines and A-lines. We evaluated our techniques using as ground truth lines identified visually by clinical experts. The proposed approach achieves the best B-line detection performance as measured by the F score when a non-convex ℓp regularisation is employed for both line detection and deconvolution. The F scores as well as the receiver operating characteristic curves (ROC) show that the proposed approach outperforms state-of-the-art methods with improvements in B-line detection performance of 54%, 40% and 33% for F0.5, F1 and F2, respectively, and of 24% based on ROC curve evaluations.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging
Early online date29 Jun 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Jun 2017


  • Line detection
  • Deconvolution
  • Image restoration
  • Ultrasound
  • Inverse problem
  • ADMM
  • Sparsity regularisation

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