GPU-Based Simulation of Ultrasound Imaging Artifacts for Cryosurgery Training

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This study presents an efficient computational technique for the simulation of ultrasound imaging artifacts associated with cryosurgery based on nonlinear ray tracing. This study is part of an ongoing effort to develop computerized training tools for cryosurgery, with prostate cryosurgery as a development model. The capability of performing virtual cryosurgical procedures on a variety of test cases is essential for effective surgical training. Simulated ultrasound imaging artifacts include reverberation and reflection of the cryoprobes in the unfrozen tissue, reflections caused by the freezing front, shadowing caused by the frozen region, and tissue property changes in repeated freeze–thaw cycles procedures. The simulated artifacts appear to preserve the key features observed in a clinical setting. This study displays an example of how training may benefit from toggling between the undisturbed ultrasound image, the simulated temperature field, the simulated imaging artifacts, and an augmented hybrid presentation of the temperature field superimposed on the ultrasound image. The proposed method is demonstrated on a graphic processing unit at 100 frames per second, on a mid-range personal workstation, at two orders of magnitude faster than a typical cryoprocedure. This performance is based on computation with C++ accelerated massive parallelism and its interoperability with the DirectX-rendering application programming interface.

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