BioScience Trends. 2023;17(3):211-218. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2023.01128)

The ability of Segmenting Anything Model (SAM) to segment ultrasound images

Chen F, Chen LY, Han HJ, Zhang SN, Zhang DQ, Liao HE


Accurate ultrasound (US) image segmentation is important for disease screening, diagnosis, and prognosis assessment. However, US images typically have shadow artifacts and ambiguous boundaries that affect US segmentation. Recently, Segmenting Anything Model (SAM) from Meta AI has demonstrated remarkable potential in a wide range of applications. The purpose of this paper was to conduct an initial evaluation of the ability for SAM to segment US images, particularly in the event of shadow artifacts and ambiguous boundaries. We evaluated SAM's performance on three US datasets of different tissues, including multi-structure cardiac tissue, thyroid nodules, and the fetal head. Results indicated that SAM generally performs well with US images with clear tissue structures, but it has limited performance in the event of shadow artifacts and ambiguous boundaries. Thus, creating an improved SAM that considers the characteristics of US images is significant for automatic and accurate US segmentation.

KEYWORDS: Segment Anything Model, ultrasound images, shadow artifacts

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