Method and Apparatus for Analyzing an Ultrasonic Image of a Carcass

Patent No. 6,099,473

Issued: August 8, 2000

Inventor: Yujun Liu, Chapel Hill, NC; James R. Stouffer, Ithaca, NY; Greg Snider, Kearney, NE.

Assignee: Animal Ultrasound Services, Inc. Ithaca, NY

 The present disclosure teaches a system for analyzing ultrasonic image that provides an output of a measurement of muscle width from an ultrasonic image input of an outline of a muscle from an animal or carcass. The muscle that is used in the preferred embodiment is the longissimus dorsi muscle when an ultrasonic scan is taken in a transverse direction relative to the backbone.

The analysis is done with a computer that receives the electronic input of rows and columns of gray level pixel data from an ultrasonic scan image of the outline of the muscle of the animal or carcass. The software is set to select a region of the ultrasonic image input to analyze to determine a first edge of the muscle. The selected region is divided into subregions Sj,.sub.k. J designates a row and ranges between 1 and n. K designates a column and ranges between 1 and o such that o is greater than 1. The subregions are aligned in rows and columns throughout the ultrasonic image input. The software calculates a sum of the gray level pixel data for each of the subregions Sj,k then compares the sums to determine which of the subregions Sj,k has the highest sum within each row j. The software defines a position of the first edge of the muscle by comparing the highest sum within each row j. This position is then used to calculate a relative muscle width when compared to a defined second edge of the muscle. The second edge can be defined as one edge of the selected region of the ultrasonic image input or it can be defined using the same steps used to define the first edge.

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