Quality Assurance 4 medical UltraSound equipment

At the MUSIC group a measurement protocol has been developed and implemented in software for analyzing stored ultrasound B-mode images (acquired either via a vdeo frame-grabber, or digitally transferred in DICOM/JPG/BMP format) from various kinds of ultrasound equipment.
To enable a fast development of the processing and database routines, the programming has been done in Matlab (R14). An executable version of the QA4US software is available for distribution to interested colleagues without the need of a full Matlab installation. If the user has no licensed Matlab r2013b (32 or 64-bit platforms) installed, one needs to download and install of one of the mentioned Matlab component Runtime (MCR) packages too. This can be done via the QA4US site or via the official MATLAB-site.


MUSIC is organizing a course on "PRINCIPLES OF ULTRASOUND AND QA" 22th and 23th of November 2017.

The preliminairy program and more information about accreditation and registration can be found here: PROGRAM_INFO


The QA4US_II software (please see Backgrounds below) is now available online for download! Please fill out the download-form completely in order to be able to download the software. This information also will be used to inform you about future releases!

>>Download the latest QA4US (v2.29b) software (release date: 2016 March 02)<<


The quality assurance protocol and the algorithms used in the QA4US software are based on the ideas about quality assurance of imaging with medical ultrasound equipment as described in the below mentioned references 2-5.

In the new QA4US_II version, the user is able to perform all mentioned level 2 (semi-annual) & 3 (zero measurement) software tests, from the Guidelines as approved by the European federation of Societies for Ultrasound and Medicine and Biology (EFSUMB), published in Ultraschall in der Medizin/European Journal of Ultrasound1.

Key Publications

  • J.M. Thijssen, G. Weijers and C.L. de Korte. "Objective performance testing and quality assurance of medical ultrasound equipment", Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology 2007;33:460-471. Abstract/PDF DOI PMID Citations found: 80

  • J.M. Thijssen, M.C. van Wijk and M.H.M. Cuypers. "Performance testing of medical echo/Doppler equipment", European Journal of Ultrasound 2002;15:151-164. Abstract PMID Citations found: 41


[1] C. Kollman, C. de Korte, et al.; Guideline for Technical Quality Assurance (TQA) of Ultrasound devices (B-Mode) – Version 1.0; Ultraschall Med/Eur J Ultrasound 2012;33:544-549
[2] Thijssen JM, Weijers G, de Korte CL.; Objective Performance Testing and Quality Assurance of Medical Ultrasound -Equipment; Ultrasound Med Biol. 2007; 33; 460-471.
[3] Wijk MC van,Thijssen JM.; Performance Testing of Medical Ultrasound Equipment: Fundamental and harmonic modes; Ultrasonics 2002; 40:585-91.
[4] Thijssen JM, Wijk MC van, Cuypers MHM.; Performance Testing of Medical Ultrasound Equipment; Eur.J. Ultrasound 2002; 15:151-64
[5] M.L. Skolnik; Estimation of Ultrasound Beam Width in the Elevation Plane; Radiology 1991; 180:286-288


QA4US software tour

Show more of the QA4US software

release notes:

2.33b | 16-01-2017

- UNIFORMITY plot update, width indication always started at zero,
however uniformity ROI sometimes cannot be positioned over full width.
This can be the case for curved array transducers which can’t make full
contact to tissue mimicking phantom surface. Therefore now the
position relative to the transducer aperture are given.
- DICOM Calibration bug solved: calibration information from
filenames larger than 64 characters failed.
- Warning levels for trend reporting now are customizable.
- updated trend reporting stability
- Solved bug in switching from resolution to ‘alternative elevation focus”
module (inside resolution module)

2.29b | 2016-02-03

- LUT module update: Less strict zero level detection, since zero level appeared not 
always to be present | Updated on-line help-text. | Use of color-coded images stays
supported, however is not advised to use color coding since accurate LUT linearization
cannot be guaranteed. - Updated implementation of the alternative elevation focus estimation module. | New: shows
analyzed US image with ROI’s to the report. | Solved problems with switching from the
resolution to the elevation focus module and back - Improved several online help-texts - Solved some bugs in Sensitivity module with ROI placing and updated the algorithm for
the FWHM-level detection and the Signal-Noise crossing depth. - Solved bug in trend report generation - several minor bug fixes.

2.28b | 2015-12-11

- Uniformity algorithm update: extended support/analysis of both signal and 
noise(ringdown) pattern analysis. Ringdown uniformity analysis is normally performed
subjectively as a level I test (Kollman et al. Ultraschall in Med 2012;33:544-549).
Objective analysis of both signal and noise uniformity enables differentiation between
element and transducer surface damage. We refer to the updated QA4US manual for more
details. This also enables objective trend analysis of the level 1 uniformity module,
which can be performed without a tissue mimicking phantom. - New: Alternative elevation focus estimation (Skollnick, Radiology 1991; 180:286-288)
implemented (to be performed in resolution module). See updated manual for more details. - Updated on-line help text: 2nd module click provides extended ‘how-to’ text. - Updated manual: uniformity, alternative elevation focus, qa4us update. - Back-scan update: prevent image from left-right flip during back-scan conversion - Update: several minor bug fixes. - Update: solved isue with flickering GUI while moving ROI's

2.26b | 2015-05-28

- draw ROI error in 64 bit version solved.
- improved uniformity algorithm
- uniformity profile depth is limited till first min gray level found in selected ROI to 
prevent underestimation of dips. - added colorbar with warning levels to the uniformity bar image. - improved reverberation analysis algorithm - baseline calculation in uniformity profile (central 50%) now neglecting outliers ( <>1.5dB) - improved peak detection algorithm for reverberation analysis. - stop counting peaks below 2% of (max-min) level. - min. peak distance of 0.5 mm implemented

2.25b | 2015-05-04

- several minor bug fixes: occasionally DICOM import error solved.
- imporved handling and helptext of empty QA database.

2.24b | 2015-03-11

- critical bug fix: solved bug in DICOM calibration information retrieval
- Improved Back-Scan conversion algorithm with less constrictions and less user interaction
	- ability to back-scan convert up-side-down images and 90degree rotated sectors
- New: horizontal and vertical image rotation
- updated: short acquisition manual
- updated: acquisition form

2.20b | 2014-12-05 | QA4US II second update

- New: Trend Reporting (table & graph included on QA reports)
- New: LUT GUI (LUT position and fitting finetuning)
- New: User interaction like calibration and ROI's visualized on report images
- improved: back-scan procedure (less user interaction)
- updated manual
- several bug fixes
- Added document: Acquisition form
- Added document: Acquisition protocol

2.02b | 2014-09-11 | First update of QA4US II

- GUI layout updates, help text updates
- solved issue in BACKSCAN procedure for curved array transducers
- problem with automatic load/copy of previous defined ROI’s fixed
- further improved DICOM import functionality
- automatic and configurable renaming for nice directory names, during import of dicom studies
- more robust parabolic fit algorithm for the RESOLUTION and ELEVATION FOCUS modules
- several minor bug fixes


2.01b | 2014-08 | First release of QA4US II with completely renewed, all in one, GUI ________________________________________________________________________